Many developing countries are using WiMax deployments to leapfrog past copper wires, notes the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Information Technology Report 2007-08.
For instance, in India, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, or WiMAX, has been promoted as the answer to the country's last-mile connectivity issues.
It is said to be 30 times faster than 3G mobile technology and 100 times faster than wireless data rates, and has been widely anticipated to cure the problems of rural connectivity in India.
In the context of having to apportion chunks of finite spectrum, WiMAX is attractive as it holds the promise of increased sharing, notes the report. Rural connectivity is promised as long as power supply is available, PCs are given, local languages are used in developing content, and people are provided with training in using PCs.
Across the world, increased connectivity has also become a prominent factor in the discourse on strengthening and maintaining social cohesion.
Narrowing the digital gap between urban and rural areas has been a priority for public sectors worldwide, regardless of their countries' overall information and communication technologies (ICT) maturity.
One of the traditional benchmarks of a nation's ability to foster economic growth and protect and enhance the well-being of its citizens is good communications. Unified Communications (UC) can bring people and their expertise into business and government processes as needed, through better communications, says the report.
It also points that we must go beyond the present framework of communications to UCenabling social and business collaboration. Such good communication has also happened because of deregulation, greater access to global markets and strategic use of technology. Entry barriers for content creation and distribution have decreased and this has led to Participative Web.
The report also takes into account the growing importance of Web.
Innovation in broadband applications and digital content is an important driver of the digital economy, building on the infrastructure push that has provided widespread high-speed network access.
The participative Web provides a testing ground for low-cost experimentation with implications for business, organisational and social change far beyond technology.