The services offered by telecentres are mostly based on ICT by sharing local equipment and connectivity to telecommunications networks. The concept of sharing such facilities and access is especially interesting in remote or a deprived areas. The data analysed is based on the study of ‘Digital Dividend Clearing House’ on 200 representative telecentre initiatives world wide by various sectors for a host of services.
Accordingly telecentre services are categorised by the kind of management the organisation is built upon: for-profit, government or non-profit. Based on these classifications, the majority of telecentres specified in the Clearinghouse are of non-profit.
Profit projects companies are set up with an aim to make a return on their investment.
Government projects are initiatives of a government or government agency and may or may not aim to achieve sustainability/profitability on an individual telecentre level.
Non-profit projects include those set up by foundations, international agencies, NGOs and civil society organisations and other corporate philanthrophic activities/institutions.
The global distribution of telecentre projects
As per the data of Clearing house, Asia and Africa have the highest numbers, indicating g the low teledensity that leads to a higher demand for telecentre services in these regions. Among countries, India (25 percent) and South Africa (8 percent) have the most telecentre projects.
The variation of activities of a telecentre vary widely depending on the type of management (for-profit, non-profit, or government). The graph shows a breakdown of activities based on sector.
For-profit telecentres: It mostly provides agricultural inputs like accurate crop prices, weather reports, and crop diagnostic services besides business development, e-Commerce, and financial services.
Government telecentres: They primarily offer e-Governance services besides skill upgradation services like computer training, education (in a minor scale), and activities related to agriculture, youth, and the empowerment of women.
Non-profit telecentres: These organisations vastly offers services in computer training, education, and youth-based activities. Healthcare and radio applications are also offered in these centres with little profit motive.