The book introduces the concept of the Language Divide, and emphasizes that it is equally important to bridge the language divide so that non-English speaking people can equally access the most of the content of the Internet which is currently dominated in English. It presents a new technology called Voice Internet that allows anyone to access the Internet using any phone and user’s voice, and shows how Voice Internet can really help bridge the Digital and Language Divides globally, by eliminating most of the difficulties (e.g. un-affordability, difficulty to use and learn, need for literacy, difficulty in viewing on small screen, difficulty in using small keypad, difficulty in navigation and the like) associated with the existing visual driven approaches using computers, personal devices, high end and medium end Internet enabled phones.
The book emphasizes that Voice Internet technology rides on existing infrastructure (e.g. existing telecom or wireless networks), existing websites (e.g. over 3 billion websites from the World Wide Web), existing distribution networks (e.g. telecom providers, mobile telephone providers. Internet Service Providers and Application Service Providers), and thus shows how deployment and adoptability is faster and easier.
Providing access to the Internet or information is the first step. But there are various other key steps to exploit the real benefits of the Information Age. Three such major key steps are Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These in, turn, can help in Economic, Social, Cultural, Political and other developments, especially, of the Bottom of the Pyramid people (BOP). The book discusses in details how the BOP can really use Voice Internet and related products and services to become an enormous resource not just for themselves but also for the top of the pyramid (rich people) in the world. Examples are included for improved farming, education, health, getting jobs and creating jobs. The book emphasizes that to really help minimize the rich-poor gap (and also achieve other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations), a significant amount of money would need to flow from the rich to the poor. The existing methods do not seem to achieve that as already proven by the fact that the rich-poor gap has been increasing consistently for a long time.
To ensure significant money flow from rich to the poor in a natural and sustainable way, as already mentioned, the book put emphasis on creating an enormous resource from the BOP by using affordable Internet Access. Education, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and use of a good Business Model are essential to ensure sustainability with good growth. Use of such an enormous resource will cause significant of money to flow from rich to the poor in three broad ways:
Rich will use the low cost enormous resource (e.g. through outsourcing)
BOP will start developing various new products and services (especially suitable for the bottom 90% of people), many of which would also be attractive to the rich people
BOP will import much less products and services form the rich.
This will also help more money to circulate within the BOP.
Thus, many from BOP would become richer and the rich-poor gap would be minimized significantly worldwide.
The funding needs of the BOP to start businesses will come from various existing funding sources including the already very successful Microfinance lenders as Voice Internet will help entrepreneurs to do new things with less competition, increased revenue and with a higher margin; thus generating more for the lenders and the borrowers, resulting in an attractive win-win relationship.
This book is good for decision makers / policy makers at the Governments, Organizations, Foundations, Corporations, Civil Societies, educators, students, entrepreneurs, innovators and also the rich individuals, especially, those who would like to help many BOP around the world.
InternetSpeech is the leader in voice Internet technology. Its voice/audio browser, netECHO®, provides consumers, businesses and Governments complete anytime, anywhere voice-based telephone access to the Internet. The company's patented technology can be bundled with other products such as traditional computer-based Internet access, location-based services, or visual micro browsers. InternetSpeech also offers business software that automates the process of voice-enabling a company's Web site and applications in any language, furthering the development of a globally-connected voice Internet. InternetSpeech, a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, Calif., launched netECHO in November 2000. For more information about InternetSpeech,
visit www.internetspeech.com, or call 408-532-8460.
netECHO® is a registered trademark of InternetSpeech.
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