Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Satellite link to the Internet may have been heart of jailed man's mission

The American development worker detained in Cuba last month heads a Maryland company that dispatched workers to remote corners of the world to help people and organizations connect to the World Wide Web.
A GuideStar document listed Alan P. Gross as founder and executive director of the non-profit Joint Business Development Center Inc., or JBDC.
The document said Gross:
has worked in nearly 60 countries in areas of economic and business development, trade and investment, market development, institutional monitoring and evaluation, and organizational development.
His company's mission:
Advance the business, economic and independent development of emerging communities as they progress toward free-market economies and enterprise systems. Foster the development of private enterprise in emerging markets by using reliable, results-oriented business practices.
JBDC "develops and establishes broadband internet access for microenterprises, associations, NGOs and other organizations in remote locations, globally."

The GuideStar document also said JBDC:
designs, installs, commissions and manages Internet-based satellite telecommunications and network services to businesses, aid and disaster-relief organizations in transitioning environments.
JBDC provides narrowband to broadband Internet connectivity via satellite. This package includes the dish antenna, electronics, installation, 24x7 network management, with monthly access fees that are scalable to meet customer needs.
Nelson Valdes, a Cuba specialist in New Mexico, recently posted a link giving more detail about Internet connectivity via satellite in Cuba. See PDF for additional information.

A JBDC corporate statement gave more background on the company, described as "a small business group and an innovative provider of practical 21st century solutions to business, associations, humanitarian aid organizations and government, globally."

The January 2009 statement said:
JBDC has expertise in private sector development (e.g., business development services, trade facilitation and investment development), ICT development and utilization, monitoring and evaluation, and community engagement.
JBDC brings decades of international development experience from completing successful results-oriented projects in more than 50 countries.
JBDC uses current technologies and technical know-how to find strategic solutions to challenges facing business and industry, communities and government, often under adverse conditions.
Entire statement is here.

Along the Malecon's U.S.-Cuba relations page
Along the Malecon's Spy vs. spy page

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