Our blog

The ‘Internet of People’ brings technology to rural locations


11 April 2016

Bas Burger

Blogs by author: Bas Burger, CEO, Global Services


Communications technology is creating the ‘Internet of People’, transforming how communities work, learn and play. Meet Vive Digital in rural Colombia.

The human aspect of the Internet of Things

Kioscos-Vive-DigitalWhen I start a conversation about the Internet of Things (IoT) I come across two commonly-held perspectives: firstly, that the IoT represents a historic leap in the use of technology, and secondly, that the IoT has the potential to create ‘the Internet of People’ — bringing the connectivity that will enable objects and machines to come together in a way that truly changes lives.

At BT, we believe that technology-enabled communications can make a better world possible, and that delivering connectivity in a safe and secure manner is our priority.

Yes, we need further conversation and due diligence to make sure technology security and protection are on a par with technology innovation — particularly as it relates to the IoT. But, while those conversations go on, we shouldn’t stop aspiring to make connectivity a reality for people — regardless of their location or socio-economic situation.

Bringing internet access to rural Colombia
We are always delighted to be given the opportunity to provide our services to projects that share our mission of bridging the digital divide.

Most recently, we supported an initiative inspired by the Colombian government called Vive Digital. The goal of the project is to give the country a technological leap to improve the standard of living and boost the economy. As part of this, BT connected 591 Vive Digital Kiosks in rural and remote communities throughout the country that previously had no internet access. Now, citizens living in these communities are able to experience an entirely new way of communication while doing business, learning and playing.

Technology as the backbone of society and the economy

Kioscos-Vive-DigitalVive Digital Kiosks are just one example of how Colombia, a country we are proud to have a strong presence in, is actively working to bring new technologies to its citizens in remote locations. Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT Global Services, recently commented that, “the government and the whole country have adopted in recent years a willingness to create jobs and have basic elements such as economic and legal stability to facilitate doing business in the medium term.”

With technology as the backbone of society and the economy, there’s a need to invest in communications infrastructure and information technology. And Vive Digital is a great project that puts Colombia on the right track.

Investing now, and in the future
The ICT sector presents many opportunities and creates values that can encourage companies to want to invest in the country. Already, Colombian entrepreneurs and universities are using this increased level of connectivity to pursue new projects that will open up fresh opportunities for the local economy. In turn, and in time, these investments in education and health will help create a stronger and more competitive workforce.

We look forward to supporting more causes like Vive Digital in Colombia and across Latin America, the US and Canada. We’re investing in the connectivity that will bring about the ‘Internet of People’, and will continue to do so.