The examples of wireless-Internet deployments around the world in the Cast Study database are all works in progress. Each embodies the hope for economic success as well an opportunity to contribute to the social and economic development of a country of region. Each shows the potential of wireless technology as an alternative to the traditional copper and fiber infrastructures that are the dominant means of providing access to basic voice and advanced data services.
One common characteristic of these case studies is their unconventional, often grassroots origin. Entrepreneurs from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors have independently developed original business models that are indicative of potential solutions for the developing world. Most, however, have to confront serious challenges that are nontechnical in nature and associated with legacy regulations, administrative obstacles and the opposition of incumbent telecommunications operators.
By featuring case studies, publications attempt to clarify the key issues that need attention on the part of governments, international development agencies and international organizations whose goals are to bridge the Digital Divide. 's case-study data base is therefore a first step only, and will continue to be complemented by further updates and analysis.
Documenting this worldwide wireless Internet phenomenon, sharing best practices and experiences and promoting adequate policies will, we hope, accelerate the resolution of the many obstacles that constrain the expansion of one of the most promising information technology tool in this century.