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News Release: W3C to Pursue Improved Web Access in Developing Countries

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 06:53:49 -0700
Message-Id: <9DD84574-DA6B-4A29-A2BD-3BDC328B3A04@w3.org>
To: w3c-news@w3.org


Today, W3C invites experts to participate in the "Mobile Web in  
Developing Countries" Workshop in Bangalore, India, on 5-6 December  
2006. Participants will discuss the challenges, requirements, and use  
cases for mobile Web access in developing countries, with the goal of  
bridging the Digital Divide. "While in some countries, mobile Web  
access is the latest must-have for executives, it is increasingly  
clear that it may play an important role in the development of some  
communities," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "We must ensure  
that the Web is designed to meet the needs of sparser populations and  
of those whose only access to the Web may be on their phone."

For more information, please contact Janet Daly <janet@w3.org> at  
+1.617.253.5884, or the W3C Communications Team representative in  
your region.

--------

W3C to Pursue Improved Web Access in Developing Countries
Workshop Provides Opportunity to Share Experience about Challenges,  
Needs

Web Resources

Call for Participation, W3C Mobile Web in Developing Countries" Workshop
	http://www.w3.org/2006/07/MWI-EC/cfp.html

W3C's Mobile Web Initiative
          http://www.w3.org/Mobile/

This press release
	In English: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/mwiec-pressrelease.html.en
	In French: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/mwiec-pressrelease.html.fr
	In Japanese: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/mwiec-pressrelease.html.ja

http://www.w3.org/ -- 19 September 2006 -- Today, the World Wide Web  
Consortium (W3C) invites experts to participate in the "Mobile Web in  
Developing Countries" Workshop in Bangalore, India, on 5-6 December  
2006. Participants will discuss the challenges, requirements, and use  
cases for mobile Web access in developing countries. The Workshop  
will bring together experts in mobile Web technologies and  
specialists on emerging countries and the digital divide. To  
participate in the Workshop, please submit a position paper by email  
before 1 November 2006.

"While in some countries, mobile Web access is the latest must-have  
for executives, it is increasingly clear that it may play an  
important role in the development of some communities," said Tim  
Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "We must ensure that the Web is designed  
to meet the needs of sparser populations and of those whose only  
access to the Web may be on their phone. I look forward to hearing a  
wide range of views about requirements on Web technology particular  
to developing countries."

This public Workshop is part of W3C's Mobile Web Initiative, which  
aims to identify and resolve challenges and issues of accessing the  
Web when on the move. W3C thanks the Workshop host, Jataayu Software,  
one of the Mobile Web Initiative sponsors. Additional sponsorship  
opportunities are still available.

Mobile Web Seen as Means to Bridge Digital Divide

One important step in bridging the "digital divide" -- the lack of  
access and ability to use information services by a portion of  
society -- is the deployment of mobile networks around the world.  
According to the World Bank, more than two billion people own a  
mobile phone and 80% of the world's population has access to GSM  
service. With one million new subscribers every day, almost four  
billion people will have a mobile phone by the end of 2010.

Although access to phone service is fundamental, W3C considers access  
to Internet services such as email and the Web vital for education,  
commerce, and communication. High speed mobile data networks and more  
affordable Web-enabled phones are helping to make this access  
possible in the developing world. For some, telephones may be the  
primary, or even sole, means to access the Web. In order to deliver  
Web standards that enable access for all, W3C is organizing this  
Workshop to learn more about the specific needs, expectations, and  
challenges faced by people in developing countries.

Help Sponsor Global Participation in the Workshop

W3C invites your support for this Workshop through a three-tier  
sponsorship program designed to support participation by people or  
organizations who might otherwise not have the financial means to  
attend the meeting. Benefits of the Sponsorship program include  
public recognition of your commitment to the W3C mission. Sponsors  
reach those who are making decisions about the future of the Web, as  
well as those in the public who have come to rely on the Web as  
critical infrastructure for development.

Contact America --
     Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East --
     Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
     Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium  
where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work  
together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission  
through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to  
ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are  
Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer  
Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the  
USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics  
(ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has  
additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http:// 
www.w3.org/
Received on Tuesday, 19 September 2006 13:57:55 UTC

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