Table 1. Navigating through MIT OCW [ 8]
Content providers have their role to play: They must ensure that their content is usable over existing connections. As we have seen, if the content provided does not meet low-bandwidth accessibility requirements, it is unlikely to reach recipients in the developing world.
Of course some connectivity (physical bandwidth) must be present.
Likewise, the local network must be well managed to fully utilize the bandwidth.
Users are also critical. In many ways, user behavior is the largest factor determining the effectiveness of any Internet connection, and appropriate policies need to be in place.
good design of the LAN, subnets, and routing,
appropriate use of caching, and
provision for virus protection.
Any OER/OCW provider should be able to easily provide their content as hybrid online/offline content.
Any OER/OCW consumer should be able to easily obtain such content.
Content needs to be updatable. Such updates need to respect the available bandwidth, and need to be automatic in as much as possible.
to prefetch resources when the network is less busy (and in this way gradually retrieve entire OCW/OER content catalogues),
to be "primed" through offline data transfer (content from DVD or memory stick; once the cached is "primed" it can retrieve updates online), and
to reshare data through offline means (e.g., through local writing to DVD, or through local peer-to-peer file sharing).
B. Haßler is with the Centre for Commonwealth Education and the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies, University of Cambridge, 1st floor, 16 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1SB, UK.
A.M. Jackson is with Aptivate, The Humanitarian Centre, Fenner's, Gresham Road, Cambridge CB1 2ES, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manuscript received 4 Mar. 2009; revised 29 Apr. 2009; accepted 21 Jan. 2010; published online 20 Apr. 2010.
For information on obtaining reprints of this article, please send e-mail to: email@example.com, and reference IEEECS Log Number TLTSI-2009-03-0033.
Digital Object Identifier no. 10.1109/TLT.2010.8.
1. Typical domestic broadband connections in the UK in 2009 are described as "8,000 kbps" with the average achieved bandwidth over 3,000 kbps.
2. Typically, an Internet Service Provider shares bandwidth between several customers. The number of customers determines the "contention ratio," so if bandwidth is shared between 10 customers the connection is said to have a contention ratio of 10. There are two main places where this contention can take place that are relevant to our discussion. First, between the customer and their in-country ISP. The second place is the contention over the international bandwidth. Even if an institution has a high bandwidth connection and low contention to their ISP, they may still have a high contention for the international bandwidth. Considering that most web resources are hosted in the US and Europe and that many developing countries do not have fully functioning Internet Exchange Points, which consequently means that even in-country traffic is often routed via the US and Europe, it is the contention over international bandwidth that is usually the most significant.
3. This may mean no firewall protecting the local network from intrusion or viruses, no proxy cache to avoid repeated downloads of the same content, no antivirus software and no Acceptable Use Policy.
13. See http://www.sciencemedianetwork.org/wiki/Syndication.