Telecentres, in many different forms, exist in almost
every country in the world – although they are not always called
telecentres and do not always attempt to deliver even a fraction of the
full range of services that the concept is capable of.
From solar-powered cell-phone connections in the Senegal
connecting a fax, a phone, and a computer to a distant African capital,
through chains of word-processing centres working for urban employers
(in France and Britain), to alternate offices for Federal employees in
the USA telecentres have demonstrated that they can deliver social,
economic and environmental benefits. Closer to home, in West Australia,
telecentres supported over 3000 students and produced 28 community
newspapers (in the mid ’90s). A host of other services are delivered,
including labour market programmes for the unemployed, Internet access,
and a range of other services that would not otherwise be
The options, the variety of telecentres, and the screeds
of research and academic study all appear limitless…
At its simplest a telecentre is a location at which tele-access
or telework can happen.
And there are many forms of telecentre.
Tele-shops and cyber-cafés – where people can access
telephone, facsimile and email services and the Internet
Remote offices – a cheaper alternative for large enterprises with
throughout the country.
Satellite offices – effectively a branch office but
located for the benefit of employees not clients.
Neighbourhood work centres – a satellite office
shared by a number of employers.
Telecottages – effectively a development that
combines some or all of the above functions with Council service
delivery, community support and focus, small business training and
support (e.g. short-term office lease), an information centre,
distance education, telemedicine, community rejuvenation, and more.
Resort offices – which provide the same support as
satellite offices or neighbourhood work centres with additional
roles as a perq. for valued employees, off-site meeting and
entertainment space, a base for ‘experiential learning’, and so on.
Some provide accommodation as well.
Multipurpose Community Telecentres – incorporating as
many of the above functions as possible and possibly adding such
services as a local community Internet Service Provider,
secretarial support, computer resources for local schools, employment
generation and growth, direct support for traffic elimination ('trip
reduction') programmes, disaster recovery and more.
But there is no one-size-fits-all telecentre. Every
telecentre could provide a different set of services, facilities and
New Zealand helps companies and communities develop the telecentre
that they need.
comprehensive guide to telecentre developments and their benefits,
including links to other information is available.
Email us for your copy.