Madanmohan Rao (1999) Bringing the Net to the Masses. Cybercafes in Latin America

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Much of the success of the Internet as an information economy and as a new medium depends on affordable, near universal access to the Net in countries across the globe. In emerging economies, numerous projects have been launched in this regard, incorporating public Internet kiosks, cybercafés, community access centers, and multimedia communication booths.
For instance, WorldTel chairman Sam Pitroda recently signed with the Tamil Nadu government in India a high-profile, $50-million agreement to set up 1,000 Internet community centers with up to 20 terminals each, thereby providing widespread Internet access as well as employment for up to 50,000 people. WorldTel first experimented with such concepts in Latin America, in countries like Peru and Mexico.
A sampling of certain other such Latin American experiments with cybercafés should provide instruction for entrepreneurs and policy makers in other parts of the world, especially in the wake of recent liberalizations of the Internet-service-provider marketplace.


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