Information Technology in an International Context –

In this assignment you will write a short (~ 1,000 words) essay integrating knowledge gained in the three readings: the GSMA, Internet Society and Open Data Watch reports. Please note, submarine cables are excluded as there was no associated reading.

Through your essay, you will demonstrate your analytical skills by drawing on the readings as well as other literature and/or websites. There is no right answer. You will need to present one or more thesis statements (e.g., “While Sub-Saharan Africa has made great strides in mobile connectivity, its internet and data infrastructures are lacking.”) and make a case for your position using examples from the readings.

These are not ‘opinion pieces.’ They are also not simple reiterations of the papers, but rather critical assessments and analyses of the topics presented. The audience is the professor, so please write appropriately. This includes avoiding statements that seek to define basic terms or technical content already covered in the lectures. Also, avoid sweeping statements such as ‘The internet has changed our lives.’  To avoid such statements, ask yourself if your writing reflects the knowledge you have acquired to date in your major/minor or is something you could have written prior to your IST coursework. Also, being a relatively short paper, you have to make the most of every word!

Each paper should include citations to at least four references (e.g., the three readings plus one other). In text citations and your references in your bibliography should use APA format, include URLs in your list of references, and do not include references in your word count.

Through this assignment you will demonstrate your ability to conduct an international analysis, connecting concepts across the readings, developing skills in synthesis, making comparisons across infrastructure types across nations. You will also practice critical thinking, by reflecting, through your own words, an understanding of the biases various authors/organizations bring to the subject. Finally, through your essay you will demonstrate an understanding of the current state of global internet infrastructure, its benefits and limitations, trends and trajectories, and factors leading us to the current state as well as shaping the future in various countries.

Write a response to essay prompts:

Prompt 1: East Asia

East Asia has made rapid progress in its mobile, Internet, and data infrastructures over the past few years. These developments have implications for the countries themselves, others in the region, and, in some cases, across the globe.

Focusing on the countries of East Asia, as defined in the GSMA report[1], provide an analysis of the three areas of infrastructure (mobile, Internet, and data). Across these infrastructures for this region, what are the region’s strengths and weaknesses? Provide specific examples from the readings.

Within this region or more generally, are there any obvious interdependencies among the infrastructures? If so, what are their implications?

For this region, which of the three reports has the greatest implications for the other two? (i.e., if making a recommendation to the authors of these reports, to which author(s) would you recommend reading one of the other reports?) Why?

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