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SURE! Blog

How a simple line of fiber has become a socio-political weapon and a social equalizer beyond boundaries

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20

Aug, 2014

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When communication revolution started, no one might have imagined the scale at which it might change the world and how much it end up impacting our lives. After decades of mammoth strides, we are living in a world where information is absolute power. Information, used at the right time in the right situation is all that is needed to push the world into an absolute awe or absolute anarchy. People, powerful people, are powerful because they know this for a fact have been successful in positioning the information that is out there at the right place and right time. Few can ignore the current day effect of social media on the way people think and react to the news they hear or see.

Given so much potential of the social media to swing the opinion of people in one’s favor over a period of time, there is a little chance that politicians would not capitalize on it. Claire Cain of New York Times wrote in November 2008 referred to Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of Huffington Post saying “Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president. Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not have been the nominee”, in her blog. In this blog, she also refers to an online campaign run by Mr. Trippi and how it was groundbreaking in its use of internet to raise small amounts of money from hundreds of thousands of people, but it was Mr. Obama who changed the way politicians organize their supporters, advertise to their voters, defend public attacks and communicate with constituents. India’s newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Modi is largely known for being an internet superstar and was largely lauded for his social media strategy. It is hard to ignore the role of social media in his successful assent from a controversial Chief Minister to a Prime Minister, who won with the largest majority in the recent Indian history.

Role of social media in the hands of people with dissent towards their governments cannot be ignored due to the fact that it played a critical role in connecting them to the rest of the world. Some of the pictures that were released during the 2007 Myanmar riots drew the world’s attention to the growing political turmoil in their country and military junta’s iron fist regime. Many journalists and people from various walks of life took to the social media and blogs to express their anger and angst towards their govt. These blogs and photo journals got the world attention to the issue and led to huge international pressure on the Myanmar Govt. And the Myanmar Govt. responded to this by shutting down the internet, blocking websites, banning access to social media and other online communications mechanisms. In the last few years, many countries like Syria and Egypt did the same thing when politically motivated agitations occurred in their respective regions.

Internet has also helped many people to come together on important social issues worldwide. I think it would not be an exaggeration if we contribute considerable amount of role to social media for making Malala the internationally celebrated activist she is. The connectivity revolution has also brought together people across the world during issues like Occupy Wall Street and kidnap of Nigerian School Girls and this has time and again proved that the netizens of the world have a voice and it matters.

No matter if a government is authoritarian or democratic, governments are increasingly pushing for internet penetration in their countries. The presence and influence of internet is impossible to ignore due to the immense potential for social benefits. In the past few years, the issue of broadband connectivity to remote areas has manifested into a social topic and development issue. With the emergence of e-governance and e-health services as a strong alternative to traditional model of meeting the  governance and health needs of the citizens, people are favoring leaders who understand and appreciate this and work towards enabling the same. This is an increasing trend not just in developing countries where inclusive growth is still awaited in many rural areas but also in developed countries like North American Countries and European Countries.

Be it delivering critical services or leveraging on social media for swinging vote bank, countries need to have strong, consistent and reasonably priced broadband and mobile backhaul. However, the critical question is monetizing their entire broadband infrastructure in the country. Of course, it requires a cutting edge broadband billing to charge users based on their usage. Connectivity market, like any other, attracts huge investments from various stake holders. And no need to say that this billing also require payment gateways support that handles with all domestic and foreign banks fund transfers easier, you may want to check more on banks here. However, it is a country’s policy framework that makes it a sustainable market. Given a case where there is supporting policy for the infrastructure to thrive, it can grow into strategic cornerstone for the governments while bringing social equality to the general public.

It is also important to appreciate the role of the value chain players in the connectivity market. Without an accelerated growth of the ecosystem players especially the operators, it is impossible to achieve the connectivity to drive a nation’s hunger for current growing bandwidth needs. As a matter of fact, the contemporary a country’s technology is, the better chances it has to achieve higher economic growth. With our experience in monetizing the services, it is very important for the presence of a strong platform that gives the players in the value chain a strong technological fulcrum to leverage upon for sustenance and prosperity.

About SURE!

SURE! is a monetization and service fulfillment platform built around the requirements of various broadband market pioneers in developing regions like Africa and Asia. Over the past 17 years, we have enabled many pure play broadband, Dual Play and Triple Play service providers to successfully monetize their services. Understanding the challenges of players in growing markets and addressing them is a critical part in establishing a robust network infrastructure and ensure that the benefits of internet is trickled down to the general masses. We are proud to a part of the grand story where network is connecting the social media user with the world and the world of benefits to ones in need.

By : Kasyapa Malladi

KasyapaMalladi works with SURE! as a Product Marketing Specialist in Broadband. Kasyapa specializes in budget based marketing campaigns, strategy implementation in developing economies and in fostering and sustaining partnerships. Kasyapa’s experience includes Marketing Strategy for Cloud products in developed markets.

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