afaqs!

Google bus to educate consumers about Internet

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 05, 2009
This project is being organized in Tamil Nadu to educate consumers about the utility of the Internet

Google India has kick-started an interesting project, called the Internet Bus, in Tamil Nadu. The pilot initiative aims to spread awareness and educate consumers about the utility and benefits of the Internet.

As the name of the project suggests, it involves a bus equipped with computers and a high speed wireless Internet connection. In an email response to afaqs!, Prasad Ram, head, Google R&D, India, says, "In Tamil Nadu, the bus will reach out to people who have not started using the Internet as they don't have the infrastructure to do so.

"Even & #BANNER1 & # if they have the necessary equipment to surf the Internet, they are not aware about its utility." The project will target English or Tamil speaking students, teachers, small scale entrepreneurs, government officials and employed youth.

The bus has already started its journey from Chennai and will roam around Tier II and Tier III towns in Tamil Nadu such as Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli for one and a half months.

It will stream video clips to showcase the use of the Internet by various people in different situations. For instance, one video clip shows grandparents using email and video websites to interact with their children and grandchildren staying in other towns.

The second video clip shows a student using a search engine to find out information which is otherwise not accessible in his town. A third video clip shows a small entrepreneur using the Internet to expand the reach of his business.

Prasad adds, "If we can get people to experience the Internet even briefly, they will find the means to go back to the medium again."

Depending on the type of feedback it gets from the project, Google will decide whether to expand the project to include other parts of India.