Telecentres

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A telecentre is a public place where people can access computers, the Internet, and other digital technologies that enable people to gather information, create, learn, and communicate with others while they develop essential 21st-century digital skills.

While each telecentre is different, their common focus is on the use of digital technologies to support community, economic, educational, and social development—reducing isolation, bridging the digital divide, promoting health issues, creating economic opportunities, and reaching out to youth for example.

Telecentres exist in almost every country, although they sometimes go by different names (e.g., village knowledge centers, infocenters, community technology centers (CTCs), community multimedia centers (CMCs), multipurpose community telecenters (MCTs), or school-based telecenters).

Telecentres may be run as nonprofit ventures or as for-profit businesses. They may be established by businesses, social entrepreneurs, nongovernmental organizations, governments or development donor organizations. You can learn more about telecentres on the telecentre.org web site.

Additional information about concept of community telecentres can also be found in the online book From the Ground Up: the evolution of the telecentre movement.

There is an attempt at a definition on the WSIS telecentre caucus mailing list.

There was also a discussion on this on the UgaBYTES mailing list in August 2005. These discussions could serve as input for the expansion of the 'telecentre' definition.