Impact of TEK
Since its first release in 2003, TEK has had a notable impact on
several communities around the world.
One of the most successful applications of TEK is in the Solomon
Islands, where it has been deployed by the People's First Network.
This organization offers email-only access using a large HF radio
network. As no interactive Internet content is available, TEK
provides the only portal to Internet content.
As village kiosks aim to be self-sustaining, there is a US $0.65
fee for each TEK query (compare to $0.25 per email, and $0.65 to type
one page). Users can also receive operator assistance when browsing
results for $1.30. While the TEK Server returns results for free, the
local charge for TEK contributes to kiosk sustainability. Also, the
continued use of TEK indicates that the service is valuable to the
A recent case
study from the People's First Network summarizes the impact of TEK
on local farming practices:
Subsistence farmers on Rennell have obtained advice concerning taro
diseases affecting their crop. Via the 'TEK-websearch' facility, one
group of farmers was able to access detailed technical information
about vanilla farming and to communicate with a specialist from the
Kastom Gaden Association.
In addition to farmers, users of TEK in the local community
- Teachers (environmental impact of local logging)
- Pastors (downloading sermons)
- Entrepreneurs (downloading and selling song lyrics)
- General (health, education, sports, entertainment)
While there are also several individual users of TEK, we have found
that the best way to foster adoption is to partner with agencies that
work in rural communities. If you are associated with such an
organization, we would love to hear from you! Please send email to Bill Thies with details.