August 28, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Nokia yesterday announced it will provide mobile device access to basic financial services in cooperation with Obopay. Money is exchanged using mobile phone numbers. According to a release from the company, 4 billion people have mobile phones, but only 1.6 billion have bank accounts, so Nokia Money, as it will be called, could bring financial inclusion to many who currently have limited or no access to financial services.
The Minneapolis City Council today approved 51 applications for free wireless Internet accounts for non-profit organizations that provide public computer access, technology literacy training, and/or technology support for underserved communities.. The free accounts will be good through 2010. "It is not enough to just invest in state of the art wireless Internet technology, we also have to make sure that more people than ever can have access to that technology," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "These free wireless Internet accounts are a great example of how we are going above and beyond what other communities have done to deliver Internet access to our residents and businesses." Minneapolis has a public-private partnership with USI Wireless.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.