Reducing Digital Divide: The Case of the ‘People First Network’ (PFNet) in the Solomon Islands

Reducing Digital Divide: The Case of the ‘People First Network’ (PFNet) in the Solomon Islands

Anand Chand (University of the South Pacific, Fiji)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1852-7.ch083
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Abstract

This chapter examines the role of People First Network (PFnet) services in enhancing information and communication and contributing to sustainable rural development and poverty reduction in Solomon Islands. More specifically, it examines two main issues. First, it examines the uptake and appropriation of PFnet services by rural Solomon Islanders. Second, it examines the impact of PFnet services on sustainable rural development and poverty reduction in Solomon Islands. This chapter is based on a empirical research conducted in Solomon Islands between January-May 2004. The chapter is organised as follows: Section one provides an overview of PFnet Project. Section two states the main aims of the study. Section three outlines the methodology used for the research. The Section four reports the main research findings. Section five discusses some problems and finally section six provides the conclusion.
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Introduction

In the South Pacific Region, deployment of ICT and it’s usage is still in an infant stage. Only Fiji and Solomon Islands has attempted to use ICT and these initiatives have come about as a result of encouragement and funding from overseas countries. In Fiji the ICT programme started in 1995 and is funded by Republic of China and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In Solomon Islands the ICT programme (PFnet) started in 2001. This chapter examines the role of PFnet services play in reducing digital divide between urban and rural people in Solomon Islands. More specifically, it examines two main issues. First, it reviews and examines the usage of PFnet services by rural Solomon Islanders. Second, it examines the benefits of PFnet services for rural people. The chapter is organised as follows: Section one provides an overview of PFnet Project. Section two states the main aims of the study. Section three outlines the methodology used for the research. Section four reports and analyses the main research findings. Section five discusses some problems and finally section six provides the conclusion.

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