Electrical Power is No Longer a Problem in ICT for Development
March 18, 2013 Editor 0
It was not long ago that electrical power was the largest barrier to using ICTs in rural areas. Back when desktop computers had big CRT screens, each computer needed 150-200 watts of power. Just turning on a computer required a costly generator and an inverter.
Then lower power computers and LCD screens came out that could run on as little as 20 watts, meaning you could run a desktop computer off a simple car battery – no inverter or generator needed. This revolutionized computer deployments, radically reducing costs and increasing the reach of technology solutions.
Now, with the rise of the tablet, there is another paradigm shift happening. When an iPad can run video for 10 hours of a 42 Amp hour battery or a Kindle runs for 2 months on one charge, and both can be recharged by a small, cheap solar panel, the very concept of electrical power as a barrier to ICT adoption starts to fade away.
This a key realization I had at the San Francisco Technology Salon that asked: What Are the Top 10 Technology Challenges in International Development?
Wanna join us for the next one? Sign up to get invited
That is not to say that power isn’t still a concern, or that we can now ignore power in deployments, but we are moving from power being an infrastructure problem to a financial problem.
Previously, where we would need to build out a $20,000 full electrical infrastructure to run a computer lab, we can now hand out African designed tablets and either add a solar panel or subsidize the use of private recharging facilities that exist for mobile phones and charge 20-50 Kenyan shillings a charge.
Power is now opex, not capex, and we should be ecstatic.
Stay current with ICTworks – enter your email address:
- ICT, Development and Innovation
- 3 Uncommon Ways ICT Can Aid Delivery of High Impact Agricultural Research and Development
- A 6 Step Guide to Platforms in International Development
- How ICT Can Have Socioeconomic Impact on Base of the Pyramid Consumers
- 4 Questions for Internet.org as Internet for the Poor
- The Best Practices in the Use of ICTs in Development Are…
Subscribe to our stories
- Entrepreneurial Alertness, Innovation Modes, And Business Models in Small- And Medium-Sized Enterprises December 30, 2021
- The Strategic Role of Design in Driving Digital Innovation June 10, 2021
- Correction to: Hybrid mosquitoes? Evidence from rural Tanzania on how local communities conceptualize and respond to modified mosquitoes as a tool for malaria control June 10, 2021
- BRIEF FOCUS: Optimal spacing for groundnuts in smallholder farming systems June 9, 2021
- COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa June 9, 2021