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AFRIK-IT  January 1996

AFRIK-IT January 1996

Subject:

Re: Internet in Rwanda

From:

Dr Eberhard W Lisse <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Mon, 29 Jan 1996 23:22:00 GMT+0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (126 lines)

John,
 
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.
 
 
>
>Also,
>
>> 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
yet.
 
 
>
>Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with what seems to be your
>main point:
>
>>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.
 
Indeed :-)-O.
 
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
you'll hire.
 
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.
Don't :-)-O.
 
 
el
 
 
--
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.

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