on 30 Mar 2001 16:18:18 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Estonian Promise

Dear Nettimers

I am just looking into the Estonian 'internet for all'  project and wonder
if you have any information
or thoughts. 

In particular, I am trying to understand the economic rationale behind it

I'll be grateful for your contributions, and will include relevant bits in
an article that I am thinking about


Paola Di Maio
Fresh Picks  
Internet Europe: The Great Estonian Promise

Estonia internet for all initiative could be a great example for the rest
of the world, provided 'new slavery' is not part of the plan 

by Paola Di Maio 
30 March 2001, 2:30 pm GMT 

In the Baltic Republic of Estonia the intenet economy could be getting a
big boost 
thanks to the initiative launched by Eesti Telefon, Eesti Uhispank, IBM,
Oracle, Microlink, says Charlie Doolan of Yankee Europe. 

Working with the local government the project aims to make the Internet
available to all Estonian residents within three years. 
It will boost the penetration rate from its current level of 32% up to more
than 70% by 2004, pushing it ahead of its neighbor, Finland 
says the analyst. 

The project, called Vaata Maailma (look@world), must address four areas to
achieve its goal content, access, attitude, and education. 

Future content services may include access to state-run activities such as
online health care and schooling. 

Low-cost computers packaged with cheap financing and free Internet access
will be aimed at consumers and businesses, and Internet training courses
will be run either through employers or the state. 

Sounds too good to be true. 

Governments and companies suddenly moved by philantropy, can't be. 

I guess there must be an economic rationale behind the idea. 

Perhaps Estonians can be easily trained and put online so that the
companies who have invested find themselves with a massive virtual factory
of skilled labour at their disposal. 

If that's was the case, it could not be so bad at all, in fact it could be
a new way of solving huge world economic imbalances. 

There are vast regions in the world that could benefit from such schemes,
provided the labour is protected from exploitation, and that can keep an
interest , possibly a share of ownership in the product of their work. 

Otherwise it isn't new-economy, but new slavery. And Netcitizens would not
allow that, would they 

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