1.1.1 The underlying purpose of a community ICT center

Although community ICT centers differ from place to place, their common purpose is to support community development while bridging the digital divide through the use of communications and computing technologies. They can play an important "community strengthening" role, while providing a ‘last-mile’ connectivity service to users. New ICTs are particularly helpful in addressing aggregated demands at the community level. They are versatile enough to meet not only the diverse needs of various social groups but also the range of demands of every individual in a community. Successful pilots have demonstrated that a diversity of models can be adopted to viably address the information and communication needs of an entire community. As technologies evolve, the community ICT centers will need to change accordingly to remain relevant and sustainable.

Communication technologies and associated community ICT centers can become more than access points for information, training and business. The physical space itself can be an entry point into a much broader communications and learning space. As technologies continue to evolve, so must our vision for community ICT centers. The outcomes are about more than just telecommunications – they are about building community and providing equal access for all.