The growing spread of smartphones and mobile Internet has some practitioners and scholars arguing about the possible irrelevance of Community Technology Centers (CTCs) serving low income communities. However, I claim in this paper that although mobile internet is making great strides, it does not yet substitute for public access; actually, smartphones and computers at CTCs compliment each other in providing those who face digital inequalities with a broader sociotechnical experience. In order to explore this problem space this paper asks the following question: “how do marginalized populations perceive CTCs in the mobile Internet era?” To address this question, I draw on an eight-month critical ethnography in the favelas of Vitória, Brazil, to study slum residents’ uses of ICTs, such as computers and smartphones. I show how marginalized people who are suffering in a relatively severe living environment take advantage of ICTs in order to both fulfill their needs and address their desires.
Nemer, David, "Wired Smartphones: Rethinking the role of community technology centers in the mobile Internet era" (2015). GlobDev 2015. 4.