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MANILA, Philippines - After his recent trip to North Korea, Eric Schmidt has much to talk about. The Google chairman recently wrote a more extensive discussion of his earlier thoughts about Internet technology in North Korea.
Writing on Google+, Schmidt spoke frankly about the limits in technology available in North Korea.
Discussing what connectivity the country had available, Schmidt writes, "There is a 3G network that is a joint venture with an Egyptian company called Orascom. It is a 2100 Megahertz SMS-based technology network, that does not, for example, allow users to have a data connection and use smart phones. It would be very easy for them to turn the Internet on for this 3G network."
Schmidt mentions there is both a supervised Internet, one that people could not use without someone else watching them, and a Korean intranet, which is linked with the universities in the country.
He added that North Korean officials "demonstrated their software and technology based on open source (mostly Linux) and it was obvious to us that access to the Internet and all of this was possible for the government, the military, and universities, but not for the general public."
Schmidt again stressed the need for North Korea to open up its borders to the Internet, reiterating earlier statements that North Korea would have trouble catching up economically without greater openness to the Internet. "It is their choice now, and in my view," he explains, "it’s time for them to start, or they will remain behind." - Rappler.com
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