Unemployment rises! Student population drops! Businesses close! These are today’s headlines… and there isn’t any quick fix to solve this but we need to start somewhere and act fast.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the Philippines as a laggard when it comes to infrastructure and digital technology. This gap is very evident in the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives as they are unable to adopt to newer technology that should enable them to continue doing business but in a seemingly new market – the digital/online market.
Digital Divide Philippines saw this coming many years earlier. And we have taken the initiative to bring affordable technology-based solutions to MSMEs and cooperatives to improve, survive and grow in the digital world. This is our mission.
Digital Divide – The Challenge
For years, we are focused on trying to provide affordable I.T. to MSMEs and sharing technology learnings to narrow the gap of the Digital Divide under http://www.smepinoy.com.
While watching CNN’s Inside Africa, it struck me that they are selling Satellite Dishes in the market in Africa. As Netflix and Internet TV flourished during the pandemic, it struck me how Satellite TV is still being sold as a valuable commodity in some countries. I am seating comfortably in my couch with browsing with Fiber Internet while watching Cable TV but a majority of people around the world is still not connected. Even in the Philippines, there were people in the far flung barrios who were disconnected through their only link when their AM radio became silent when ABS-CBN franchise was not renewed. The instant effect was they were not informed to prepare for typhoons. The fisherman who monitor the weather thru their AM Radios proceed to the sea even when there is a typhoons warning. They cannot afford a Satellite Dish much more a TV and electricity to power these devices.
Digital Divide in this decade is not having access to I.T. Technology, Digital Divide in this decade is not being connected. Radio has fallen out of the tri-media marketing years ago. Digital Marketing has overtaken TV as the top choice. Who will invest content and technology in Radio when they would not make money?
I had an epiphany, I want to develop a cheap satellite radio system and device. Not affordable but a cheap device so every fisherman using double-A batteries can afford it. This requires an Elon Mask type of investment. How can I call Bill Gates, he is now a Philanthropist? This can be a good advocacy to continue the legacy of Microsoft. Facebook tried this, the only limitation with Facebook’s program is you still need to be within the signal coverage of telecommunications companies. How do I contact Mark Zuckerberg?
Although this project can make me the next Steve Jobs, I do not have the contact and resources to do so. Instead, I will share this idea to everyone and hope someone who has the resources can take this challenge and create the smart radio using satellite technology. While Servus will continue to help narrow the gap of the Digital Divide by sharing affordable I.T. to MSMEs, we have now a new advocacy to make this challenge to anyone who has the resources. To create a cheap Satellite Radio so all people in the world will be connected. Next phase, is to create a smart radio.