At 10:57 AM 28/1/96, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>Yet later you recommend that
>>The line, whoever puts it up first, should be a national infrastructure, acces
>>sible to anybody at cost plus maintenance,
>This is the same argument we see in the States all the time, that the
>Internet should be available to everybody for practically nothing. The
>problem with it is that the only way to *ensure* that for *everyone*
>is to have it provided by the government, which, while certainly not
>the same as a foreign donor "providing full Internet access", has many
>of the same problems, including a single controling authority, the
>likelihood of censorship, lack of competition, etc.
I see what you mean. I don't want *ANY* government controlling these
means of communications either.
>> not a commercial monopoly.
>Indeed, but commercial is not equivalent to monopoly. While people are
>still debating the government-supplied full-access model, commercial
>Internet providers are busily spreading all over the world. Here in
Also quite true. However we will not have the competitiveness that
many developed countries have. We have two commercial operators
making noises about establishing a POP in Namibia but we ain't seen them
>Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with what seems to be your
>>As soon as you start funding the operating costs you stop any effort
>>towards sustainability dead in its tracks. The service is free, it is
>>"theirs" and nobody really gives a damn anyway.
>>If it is "ours", and we have had to put in blood, sweat and tears, we can't
>>just allow it to fail...
>But I am struck by the implications of these assertions:
>User support would be explaining to users how to use a modem, that a
>mouse is not a foot pedal, a WWW page is not made of paper, etc.
>University students may not need such support, but the general
>population will, if your general population is anything at all
>like the one here. Of course, your questions may well have been
>rhetorical, since I would guess you know as well as anybody what
>a system administrator does.
I spend less then two hours per week on system management on
my linux box. Running an installation disk takes an hour. Creating a new
user 1 minute (perl script :-)-O).
We call this to help the user find the cion on his desktop for the tenth time :-)-O
>>Manpower? We have universities. The Computer Science Departments and
>>Computer Centers will jump at the chances getting involved. Student labour
>>is cheap and they will learn. Who do you think owns the hugely profitable
>>Internet Providers which dominate South Africa now when Internet really
>>started there only 1992?
>If you don't pay anything for system administration and user support,
>you will have no choice but student help, and that will never be
>adequate to reach the majority of the population. It will work to
>start with, as has been demonstrated in many other parts of the world,
>especially in Europe, where many countries started that way. However,
>they all discovered that academic networks did not scale well; this is
>where the commercial version of EUnet came from, for example. So it
>would be good to be careful not to make student support a rule that
>can't be broken to avoid limiting what can be done in the future.
Again, you are right.
>Of course, you may have meant to imply that, and I may be misreading
>what you wrote. I agree that student support will work to get started,
>and has the big advantage of local self-reliance.
I meant this more initially indeed. Once the system grows and the salary
with padding is not more then 50% of the expenditure any more of course
I was thinking of how to get a network started in a developing country,
we here in Namibia are indeed painfully learning that sustaining the NamNet
is much more difficult then setting it up...
We actually pay our two students :-)-O
Hm, must eat my words, we putting sysadmin out on tender this week :-)-O.
But then, we got us a couple of Dollars (Namibian that is) in the bank :-)-O
>I just want to point out that the general discussion strikes me as
>much less specific to Africa than I might have previously thought.
Unfortunately I don't speak Spansih so I can't really follow what is
going on across the sea...
>Since I am neither African, nor in Africa, I will now shut up again.
Dr. Eberhard W. Lisse \ / Swakopmund State Hospital
<[log in to unmask]> * | Resident Medical Officer
Private Bag 5004 \ / +264 64 461503 (pager) 461005 (home) 461004 (fax)
Swakopmund, Namibia ;____/ Zone/Domain Contact for the NA-DOM
Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees, Namibian Internet Development Foundation,
an Association not for Gain. NAMIDEF is the Namibian Internet Service Provider.