1.2.3 Generating interest in ICT outside schools

There is also evidence that the use of Internet connectivity as an educational tool for children acts as a motivating force for parents to obtain Internet service at home.10 Increased demand then attracts interest from governments and other organizations that may want to fund broadband deployment, in particular. Growing demand also helps commercial network operators that otherwise might be hesitant to offer services without a reasonable business case built on sustainable demand levels.

In addition to serving educational needs, Internet-connected schools can serve as ICT centres for their surrounding populations. In areas where low income, lack of infrastructure or other factors may present barriers to widespread broadband connectivity, policymakers can focus on using key public institutions -- including schools -- as ICT centres that offer access, training, and support services.

10 Comments by multiple panelists in U.S. FCC workshop, “Programmatic Efforts to Increase Broadband Adoption and Usage – What Works and What Doesn't?” 19 August 2009.

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