As of June 2020, Africa has a quarter of a billion school children affected by COVID-19. And lacking the digital tools to continue their education online. Yet 40% of the population are online. How can this be?
For years Africa has been an example of the positive impact mobile phones have had. Using terminology such as “leapfrogging” to the digital age. What is missing from this narrative. Is that Internet access that eases the use of laptops is critical to today’s economy.
Mobile phones are great for communicating and consuming content. But not for creating. For example, engineering or machine learning. As well as participating in the digital economy at a broader scale.
COVID-19 has resurfaced this issue. Forty percent of Africans with “Internet access.” But no means to shift to working from home or continuing education online.
There are plans to improve broadband access by 2030. But this is a missed opportunity for creating real change now.
Before COVID-19 Lagatos set out on a mission to bridge the digital divide. By turning devices into anonymous local servers. That buffer content for others to use in their local communities. Creating an in-demand and peer-to-peer Internet run by individuals.
Peer-to-peer networks have been around for years. Dating back to the infamous Napster in 1999. Lagatos sees a revival of efforts in peer-to-peer technologies. To reset Internet accessibility across the globe. That can go beyond fringe users with technical know-how.
At present many telecom providers are throttling data in already resource-constrained areas. And establishing off-peak and on-peak hours. As seen in Ghana, a 7kb download takes at least one hour, during off-peak hours!
With the new normal in place. Lagatos sees an opportunity to bridge the digital divide now. Without the need in billions of dollars in investment.
Lagatos leverages an open-source peer-to-peer data transfer protocol. Like how HTTP works. And embeds this protocol into Internet-enabled devices.
When this happens public files hosted on the web (HTTP). Are programmatically transferred to the peer-to-peer protocol. Afterward, every device within the Lagatos network receives this same data on demand. Meaning each device receives data based on demand within their region.
Imagine this. What if HBO knows Game of Thrones is popular in a specific neighborhood in Ghana. Instead of someone in Ghana pinging a server in California, United States for Game of Thrones, HBO places a server farm in said neighborhood. So their customers can experience fast download and view of the series.
This is what Lagatos does for our network. But instead of a server farm. We enable individuals to leverage their devices at home. To seed the most in-demand content their community wants. Thereby buffering content for others.
The time is now to address the digital divide is now.