Guidelines for Successful Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) Implementation

Guidelines for Successful Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) Implementation

Ali Arifoglu (METU Informatics Institute, Turkey), Gülgün Afacan (METU Informatics Institute, Turkey) and Erkan Er (METU Informatics Institute, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1740-7.ch019
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Keywords: Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs), digital divide, ICT services, e-transformation, e-government, telecenters, kiosk, mobile PIAP, multi-purpose PIAP, mini-PIAPs.
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Public Internet Access Points (PIAPs) can be defined as technological tools designed to provide citizens with access to information and communication technologies (ICT). PIAPs are generally established to provide ICT opportunities for poor communities living in rural areas, where the current technology is not available or where affordability of these technologies is not achieved by majority (Kumar and Best, 2003). However, PIAPs can be established in both rural and urban areas depending on the specific purpose of the PIAP. The important point is that intended location should be able to provide the required technological infrastructure so that the PIAP should operate in a way that intended services addressing the needs of local people should be provided effectively.

Having the major purpose as to diminish digital divide and to support socio-economic development, PIAPs serve with variety of content and services. In other words, besides ICT services, PIAPs offer variety of services considering the needs and interests of individuals in order to increase the user demand and consequently source of revenue for PIAPs. These services, for example, can comprise trainings (e.g. basic computer courses or occupational courses), specific e-government services, library services, telecommunication services, multimedia services, etc. Benefits of PIAPs can be explained in three main titles as follows:

Direct Benefits: Financial Profit:

  • a.

    Contributing to decrease in unemployment rates via employment opportunities for the operation and maintenance of PIAPs,

  • b.

    Supporting the e-Transformation of countries with minimal costs (i.e. it could finance itself by charge of users for training and office services, advertisement income, donations)

Indirect Benefits: Productivity, Decrease in Cost, Operational Perfection:

  • a.

    Human resources productivity will be increased because e-government services are offered in PIAPs and citizens are not required to go physically to governmental agencies,

  • b.

    Citizen satisfaction interviews/analyses will be performed immediately,

  • c.

    Communication and office services will be offered for small enterprises,

  • d.

    There will be productivity resulted from internet access availability for e-workers,

  • e.

    There will be variety of facilitation for finding local human resources for small enterprises.

Strategic Benefits:

  • a.

    Decreasing digital divide,

  • b.

    Increasing the citizen awareness of e-transformation,

  • c.

    New lines for access to e-government services.

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