4.2.2 Private Sector Involvement

The private sector has been active, in some countries, in supporting low-cost computing device initiatives. Vendors such as OLPC and Intel have donated LCCDs for numerous projects around the world. OLPC also has a facility on its web site allowing individuals to contribute money for donated computers.45

A growing number of telecommunication firms are becoming active in low-cost computing programs. They can use their network management experience, particularly in countries where Internet access has been part of the deployment. Although the provision of networking services has been a typical support activity, some operators have also donated computers. Examples include:
 
  • In Afghanistan, mobile operator Roshan has provided networking support for the country’s low-cost computing device project, as well as project management skills.
  • MTC, a mobile operator in Namibia, contributes 1 per cent of its revenues each year to social projects. It has invested over USD 1 million in the purchase and distribution of laptops with broadband connectivity. Because many schools in Namibia are not connected to the national power grid, MTC is also giving generators to more than 300 schools, in order to power the computers.46
  • In Uruguay, the incumbent telecommunication provider ANTEL has supported the country’s student laptop program by providing Internet connectivity to schools, with a discount on the service fees.47
  •  In Mexico, Carlos Slim, has donated 100,000 computers to public schools through the Casa Telmex Foundation.48 Based on the Intel Classmate, the computers are being distributed to some 1,400 junior high schools throughout the country.  Mr. Slim is the majority owner of America Movil, Latin America’s largest mobile operator group, as well as the incumbent Mexican operator, Telmex,

 

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