Racing the Plant is a unique race that is currently going on in the remotest corners of Vietnam. Organised jointly by INTEL, USAID & The Vietnamese Data communication Company, the race aims to expose people in remote areas to internet technology and highlight the role of digital content & services in rural communities. The ultimate objective is to promote the idea that digital literacy and access to information increasingly is the gateway to economic opportunity and social progress.
As part of the race, 100 competitors from 22 nations will cover 250 kms over a six day period across remote northwest Vietnam. The racing area has been converted into a special WiMax zone developed by Intel. The competitors can use the high-speed wireless broadband access to upload rich media content to the RacingThePlanet website in real-time and showcase the area to a global audience. The competitors are professional racers who have participated in previous Racing The Planet events held in the Gobi Desert (China), Atacama Desert (Chile) & Sahara Desert (Egypt). Check out these blog posts from the participants; here are some pictures and videos about the event; this is the live status for the race.
An event like this would make a lot of sense in a country like India, given its huge rural populations on one hand, and a burgeoning IT/technology industry. It would help the internet make inroads into rural, farflung areas.