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Intel's Barrett: Education, not technology, is key to success

Posted: 23 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile broadband? Internet? improved education?

While announcing that the company will invest $15 million in Malaysia's mobile broadband networking provider, Green Packet Berhad, Intel Corp. Chairman Craig Barrett mingled with school children on the stage, kneeling down and talking to them at their levelliterally. To what was probably a prepared question on the key to success, Barrett laughed and replied, "Study hard."

Speaking at the 16th World Congress on Information Technology in Malaysia, Barrett also said global alliances will be the key to getting the next 1 billion people on the Internet. He said better education is the best way to achieve this goal.

"Throwing technology at educational institutions is not enough. You need to have teachers to be able to use the tools, especially in the developing nations where 85 percent of the population lies in the 15- to 24-year-old category. And the challenge here is not merely to get them access to the PC and the Internet, but to make the cost of access cheaper," Barrett said.

Future plans
Meanwhile, Intel and Packet One Networks (Malaysia), will work together to deploy the country's first nationwide 802.16e WiMAX network, which is slated to be commercially available in June.

Another initiative announced by Barrett is joint venture between Intel Capital and Grameen Trust aimed at social and economic development. The initiative to be launched soon in Bangladesh is based on the "social business" model created by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who founded Grameen Bank in 1976 to promote microfinancing and community development.

Barrett, who also chairs the U.N. Global Alliance for ICT and Development, stressed the need for public-private collaboration on technology as the key to improving living standards. Intel has also joined with NetHope, a consortium of 22 private agencies to develop IT solutions in areas such as healthcare, education and economic development.

An Intel-powered "Aid Station PC," a rugged, low-cost platform developed for use in extreme climates and remote locations, was demonstrated here by NetHope CEO Bill Brindley and Mary Gadams, founder and CEO of Racing The Planet, which organizes running events. Gadams took the PC to remote locations to test its functionality.

- Sufia Tippu
EE Times

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