What would be in your Internet Box?

Elio Hector Loez

Elio Hector Lopez helps put together El Paquete Semanal, a sort of Internet-in-a-box delivered weekly to Cubans. Google wants now wants to bring Internet access to the island. Credit: Miguel Helft

Reading this story yesterday about how Google is working to improve internet access in Cuba, I was drawn to the description in the latter part of the article about El Paquete Semanal, the “internet in a box” which Cubans have been using for the past dozen years or so.

How it works is that someone compiles a “best of” the internet on a Terabyte disk and then copies of this are distributed by people traveling around the country by bus. This reminded me of what people often say to me when I run Digital Tea Parties. Digital Tea Parties are informal events (based, of course, around tea parties) where I introduce people to the joys of the internet. I often show YouTube videos of local historical interest at such events, and, a number of times, people have asked me if I carry those film shows around with me. I then have to explain that YouTube is a resource that anyone, anywhere can access, as long as they have an internet connection. This is part of people’s initial understanding of the internet, and the fact that it must have something to offer to everyone, whatever their interests.


So, if you lived somewhere like Cuba, where your only access to the internet was via a hard drive brought to you on the bus; what would you want to be in the “box”. Let me know in the comments section below.

One thought on “What would be in your Internet Box?

  1. Here’s what older people in Scotland value http://www.wisdominpractice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Digitalinclusionoldrepeoplehintsandtips-.pdf
    * Keeping in touch with people.
    • Buying items like food, clothes and
    • Buying services such as insurance and
    gas and electricity.
    • Managing our money though online
    banking and savings.
    • Finding out about places.
    • Knowing what is going on in your
    community and in other places you
    • Looking at maps to plot walks.
    • Checking driving routes before
    leaving home.
    • Checking timetables for trains and
    • Playing games such as scrabble and
    • Looking for music for a singing group.
    • Finding out about family history.
    • Listening to music and radio.
    • Watching television and films.
    • Pursuing hobbies and interests and
    connecting with people who share
    your interests.

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