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Saturday, May 8

Internet's early days in Peru required bulldog approach

Reflections of Peru's Web Pioneer: "The 43 institutions, universities and companies that formed the RCP based their work on the idea that in a country like Peru, where there were four telephones for every hundred people, mounting a dial-up ISP would not make cyberspace popular.

"Soriano came up with a different approach -- he built public Internet booths (much like cybercafes), making Net access cheap.

"The first ISP in Latin America, it provided computer training to 50,000 people. In the last seven years, a thousand of these booths, called cabinas públicas, were built all over Peru" Wired News This story dates from 2001, but I'm sure that it still rings true. José Soriano is a real character who has achieved a lot in Peru. He was pushing the Internet when most companies sniffed at it as a hobby, like ham radio operators. My former employer, the Intenational Potato Center, was one of those founding institutions in those early days, even though they had other options for telecommuncations because they say it as crucial for fomenting research and low-cost communications.

Check out more about the impact of the Internet in Peru. I am adding some new links to that page.

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