District Telephone Cooperative (DTC) Tyczyn: Partnership for Local Economic Development

A well-developed telecom infrastructure is critical for local economic development. The establishment and development of District Telephone Cooperative (DTC) Tyczyn, an independent telephone operator in southeastern Poland, was started by uniting village-level telephone committees and local governments. DTC Tyczyn generated considerable value in terms of donated time and effort by engaging and involving local communities. The cooperative offers an array of services, both basic and advanced, to its mostly village-based clients that are better and cheaper than those of competitors. A critical element in the long-term success of DTC Tyczyn was its community ownership. The history of this enterprise and its strategy provides a replicable model for building an inclusive society in one of the poorest regions in Central and Eastern Europe, using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a vehicle for changing living conditions for the poor and establishing new social infrastructure.

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