The beauty of forgotten networks


Forgotten networks are beautiful things. They are the unheralded heroes of the rest of the world. They are the pathways through the rice patties along which the rickshaws of the internet carry all the world’s staples. Unacknowledged by the networking gods and shunned by their flashier, sexier counterparts they move the data that none of see but that all of us consume. Made of millions of always failing crappy connections infested with viruses and junk they somehow seem to function in spite of it all. Nobody wants them but everyone needs them.

I just spent a very pleasant evening with Yahel Ben-David of at the Intel Research Lab in Berkeley discussing these forgotten networks. We discussed how we could detoxify them and breathe new life into them as he is doing in Dharmsala and as we have done in Indonesia. Yahel is developing some amazing technologies out of simple packages that have been around for years but that have proven their worth time and again. We found value in these same packages when we rolled them out in Indonesia in the form of Clark Connect.

Forgotten networks are veins of pure gold that may once again draw prospectors. They are the overlooked and undervalued information highways that, with a little maintenance and TLC, can bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and and ‘have nots’. To bridge the Digital Divide look no further. All that is needed now is that initial first step, that leap of faith.


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