|Date, Time||2019/07/03, -4July2019|
|Contact Person||Marcus Morrissette|
|Participants||Josef.Noll, Axel Meiling, Hendric Tronsson, Marcus Morrissette, Jan Kulbe, Doris Dräger, Jana Ruhland, Thorsten Eberhardt, Alex Vincent|
|related to Project||DigI, BasicInternet|
|this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Meeting, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Meeting/BasicInternet:Microsoft IdeaFest2019|
Free Access to Information - Microsoft Team contributions
The Basic Internet Foundation got an invitation to participate at the Microsoft Idea Fest 2019 in Munich in July 2019. 38 non-profit organisations asked Microsoft Germany to help, and Microsoft delivered. Alex Meiling and Hendric Tronsson from Digital Oxygen joined us to promote the idea of "Connecting the Unconnecting" and "Internet4All".
We had the pleasure of having a total of 4 design teams working for us for two days, with a tremendous Marcus Morisette as our host for these two days.
The main outcomes of the 2-days design sprint were:
- Converting the message from Connecting the Unconnected to Free Access to Information is a Human Right (this is what we have to work for).
- The Pony Express bringing content to the unconnected villages
- A Basic Internet App and Information Architecture will help in seamless information exchange across villages and regions.
Given the costs of service delivery, e.g. USD 640 to connect a village with a 4 Mbit/s link, needs a new architecture for #DigitalInclusion and #SocietalEmpowerment. All team members and all visitors appreciated the free access to information, thus work concentrated on the technology behind.
1. Free Access to Information is a Human Right
One of the topics clearly articulates was the understanding that free access to information should become a human right. We are not yet there, but we agreed to bring our thoughts together to make it happen.
Arguments supporting the demand were:
- Bridging the digital divide is essential to reach the SDGs
- #AI for good should be explored to support the demand
- we need a Digital Geneva Convention
Connecting the world needs
- Attention and social media involvement
- Content creation, here: images for the information spots
- low cost infrastructure, wifi information spots are excellent candidates
- transport of heavy files, e.g. videos and courses through people commuting
- install, connect and update locally at the information spots
2. The Pony Express transporting content
The digital Pony Express was the main outcome of the design process, addressing the transport of large content such as video.
Creating a split architecture, with text and pictures being transported through the mobile backhaul, while bandwidth demanding content is transported through physical means. Through such a split architecture the costs of the mobile backhaul, being e.g. USD 600/month for a 4 Mbps line, can be minimised.
The first concept, also expressed in the video, addresses physical hard disks being being distributed by motorbike drivers. Thus, wherever the content is updated, the people in the village can enjoy the updated content. A more advanced concept was addressed through the m-Uber services, adding a subscription of content, and the incentives for sharing information. Thus, people contributing to content distribution receive a societal kudos.
The technical realisation had the goal to reduce bandwidth usage through P2P/meshnetworks with smart cashing. The realisation addressed a distributed database, ensuring the sync mechanism between the information spot, the devices and the cloud service.
The suggestion was to create an open-source project with backing from technology leaders such as Microsoft, Google and others. Support is given by technologist lending their time, and experts to design and build the system. Through Github as a central repository the content for a certain area can be pre-cached, ready for distribution.
Follow-on discussions extended the solution towards caching through an app on a mobile phone or tablet, which is discussed through the next topic.
3. The Basic Internet App and the Information Architecture
The main demands for the architecture comprise of
- Efficiency: get content free of overhead and prepare for replication
- AI: cloud-based content optimisation for sharing and required content
- Independency of expensive lines to the villages, as well as address traffic limitations
- Community/Collaboration addresses the benefits for the community, as well as involving the open source community in development.
In the simplest configuration, a Raspberry Pi (RPI) could carry all the content. An extension can bring the distribution through local Wifi networks out. The ultimate step includes load balancing and DNS blocking, including white and black-lists for filtering.
The IT-community should become engaged to create e.g. education apps, and download material for off-line training. Such apps can include
- language learning
- digital literacy
- technical support, as well as
- regional support people
- Free access to information - a human right
- Off-grid locations served through information spots (good starting point)
- Physical transport of bandwidth-demanding content to information spots (Pony Express)
- Gamification and incentives for sharing content