Search This Blog

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Robin Hood tax & FTTH

Remember this post here back in November about the bankers should pay for FTTH?

In light of the Robin Hood tax which was all over the news today, I thought I'd repost it. Whilst there are pressing issues globally such as child poverty etc, I stand by my long-held belief that access to communication tools would help out many of those in need.

Without decent infrastructure this cannot happen.

Let me give an example or two.

Close to home: Recently, an 8 year old put a bunch of adults, governments etc to shame by riding his bike around a local park to fund raise for Haiti. How did he raise his money? Through - that's a website. His selfless act ONLY featured on the TV after it had been plastered all over Twitter, Facebook etc for days. (They are websites, just in case you have been off-planet!).

Further from home: I watched a couple of old blokes in deepest darkest Bolivia some years ago work as a team to use a keyboard and screen to access market prices. One had learned to read at school, the other to type. Between them, they managed to navigate their local website to find info from the updated news from the local farming co-op, which they told me would allow them to judge what to plant, what fertilisers to buy, what prices to expect next year and so on.

I saw their farming co-op first hand, and many others. These people had had their local crop and much land decimated and contaminated with pesticides by the US government. That destruction included the landing strips that allowed access to college for youngsters, to the hospital for the sick, and for the incoming tourist trade which they had begun to rely on for eco-tourists. No matter that these people sold the huge majority of their coca to local people to combat altitude sickness.

What changed their lives, and I understand continues to do so, was the wireless and satellite communications systems that we recommended and negotiated and installed for them.

Whether it is jungle drums, mobile phones, or FTTH, without decent infrastructure that allows people to COMMUNICATE FREELY, this world is forever held hostage to government and industry agendas.

I support the Robin Hood tax. I don't mind if only 0.05% of it makes its way into a global fund for FTTH, but that would make one helluva difference nevertheless.

No comments: