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Enabling Higher Standards of Living by Connecting Underserved Communities to Affordable Internet

BLUETOWN provides low-cost internet solutions to connect the unconnected and bridges digital divides.

Published 02-03-20

Submitted by Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Internet service provider BLUETOWN has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with an aim to reach 230 million people in underserved communities globally with affordable internet access by 2024.

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Founded in 2014, BLUETOWN invests in remote, rural, and semi-urban communities by deploying its solar powered connectivity solutions and making internet services available at affordable price points. BLUETOWN’s solutions enable clients to access a range of digital services related to education, health, finance and commerce, and other applications that in turn lead to higher living standards in their target communities.

BLUETOWN has developed a low-cost solution to connect remote and unconnected areas. A BLUETOWN base station connects up to 200 Wi-Fi hotspots and are operated entirely on solar power with rechargeable batteries. BLUETOWN’s solar-powered infrastructure allows communities to generate less carbon emissions and avoid local air pollution from diesel generators that are otherwise used for connectivity infrastructure. Moreover, in order to overcome the barrier of unstable connections and low purchasing power in rural locations, BLUETOWN offers a local cloud solution that provide continual access to digital content and services in its client communities.

“While there is a sizeable business potential for internet solutions in underserved communities, the technologies provided by the market are conceptualized with urban, densely populated areas in mind. Existing solutions are too expensive to deploy outside urban communities, although this is where the vast majority of the unconnected live. BLUETOWN combines innovative technology and inclusive business model to makes modern connectivity possible and affordable for everyone, even in rural and remote communities”, notes Peter Ib, CEO of BLUETOWN.

Beyond ensuring affordable internet access, BLUETOWN also trains its local retailers to become micro-operators who manage the internet service and marketing and sales. In addition, micro-operators are trained to become local change agents who analyse local needs and demonstrate relevant use cases for inexperienced users. This helps break down the skills and awareness barriers in the target communities, helping them access digital content and services, such as e-learning, agricultural training videos, critical health information and selected entertainment without incurring data costs, making digital content and services available for even the most low-income segments.

“Research shows that having internet connectivity increases living standards. BLUETOWN’s solutions have reached over a million people, most of whom are connecting to the internet for the first time. The company has also demonstrated countless examples of connectivity enabling better education, health, finance, agriculture, commercial activities and government delivery services, and is providing new skills and livelihood opportunities for local entrepreneurs on top of that. We are excited to have BLUETOWN join BCtA under its commitment to spreading inclusive connectivity services,” said Head of BCtA, Luciana Trindade de Aguiar.

BLUETOWN’s services are delivered to the end-clients via affordable data-packages that grant access to the internet through Wi-Fi hotspots. Catering to low income clients, BLUETOWN sells daily, weekly and monthly data packages of varying volumes to ensure that the entry-level pricing is affordable for everyone. In the long run, BLUETOWN’s inclusive business model bridges digital divides, improves access to digital content and services and reduces poverty and inequalities.

For further information: 

BCtA: bcta@undp.org

BLUETOWN: Emil Damholt, Impact Manager, ed@bluetown.com

BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org.

About BLUETOWN: BLUETOWN is a purpose-driven internet and digital content service provider making modern connectivity solutions accessible and affordable for everyone. BLUETOWN set up its operations in 2014 and have since given internet access to more than a million people – with most of them being connected for the very first time – in rural low-income communities across India, Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania. For more information: https://bluetown.com

Business Call to Action (BCtA) logo

Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Launched in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. Worldwide, over 60 companies have responded to the BCtA by making commitments to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services.

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