Flexible framework that takes into account the local context in the selection of technology

The public policy framework must establish implementation and development stages to enable the analysis of needs and conditions that will be used later in the selection of appropriate technology. In this regard, programs that automatically negate all possibility of selecting new technologies have no place.

The existence of programs wedded to a particular technology leads to problems that can be exemplified by a case in a country in the Americas, where VSAT antennas were chosen for the national community access centers programme. This ignored the fact that there were communities where broadband was available via cable or fiber optic and others where weather conditions made VSAT an unsuitable technology. During the next phase of the programme, the connectivity centers had to adopt other types of technology with greater capacity and better economic efficiency -- where they could. All in all, this process led to unnecessary expenses that could have been avoided if local circumstances and needs had been identified and taken into account before determining which technology to use.

Conversely, projects such as the Canadian National Research Project for the First Nations on Telehealth, indicate the technology to be adopted5 only after carrying out an appraisal of local needs and going through extensive planning with local users.

5See Community Services in the 21st Century: First Nations & Inuit Telehealth Services, Canada 2001