Taking IT to the streets

With support from a collection of its vendor partners, distribution giant Tech Pacific launched a noteworthy community service project last week in Sydney called Street Level Internet Café.

According to David Higgins, networking category manager at Tech Pacific the Internet café will provide food, counselling and Internet access for the disadvantaged and the homeless.

"The digital divide is not just about global issues," Higgins said. "It is evident right here on our own doorstep. The Street Level Internet Café is breaking new ground in bridging that divide."

The project was originally conceived by the Salvation Army Oasis Youth Support Network (SAOYSN) and the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove.

Captain Moulds, director for SAOYSN said the café has already attracted significant interest from the underprivileged street kids who are using the facilities.

"Recent research has highlighted the growing divide between those in the community who have access to IT and those who don't," Moulds said.

"This is just a small step to addressing the situation and learning more about what is possible and what will work," Moulds said.

Tech Pacific donated seven Compaq computers and harnessed industry support. HP supplied printers and networking hardware, while Telstra, Microsoft and Fulton Networks also contributed to the café initiative.