The promotion , which was re-launched worldwide on November 17, will be replicated in Australia for the first time this year.Participation costs US$399, plus GST and shipping. Once a customer has placed their order online, one laptop will be shipped to them and a second laptop will be reserved for a child in remote Australia or the Pacific – although OLPC is hopeful some customers may choose to donate their unit as well.The organisation has ‘under 2,000’ units available for delivery in Australia before Christmas, according to Rangan Srikhanta, executive director of OLPC Australia.“If we can reach up to 5,000 units that would be very phenomenal,” Srikhanta told iTnews.“That would match the 5,000 we gave to children of the Pacific earlier this year from the first [global] Give 1 Get 1 program.”Those 5,000 were part of an estimated 100,000 given away by OLPC globally as a result of the first Give 1 Get 1 program launched in 2007.Srikhanta said the success of the current local promotion will be reviewed at the end of the year and a decision made on whether to extend it into 2009.“If demand is sufficient or if we can even exceed the [internal] 5,000 target we’ll continue it,” he said.“But there is a point where we need to focus on actually deploying these laptops and other programs we have in the pipeline.”Srikhanta is hopeful that putting an XO laptop into the hands of Aussie families will enthuse them on the merits of the program."One thing I’ve seen is that I can explain to people how fantastic the laptop is but only once you get it into people’s hands they see how useful it can be,” he said.“I can explain how mesh networking is great but when you see it working then it really hits home.”
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