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AFRIK-IT  April 1996

AFRIK-IT April 1996

Subject:

Re: Packet Radio

From:

"Louis F. Aikins" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Wed, 17 Apr 1996 09:06:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

Its been very useful and informative reading and studying your postings on the
two USAID initiative on Africa as well as the commnets and contributions it has
generated. I hope to make my contribution to the debate soon.
However, Jeff I would be happy to receive the command(s) that well help me snag
web pages with an Email command since I don't have direct web access here in
Ghana
 
Louis
 
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Packet Radio
Author:  [log in to unmask] at INTERNET
Date:    4/12/96 2:52 AM
 
 
A student sent a question to me recently, and I thought it would be of general
interest:
 
Andrew asks:
 
> I hear about packet radio as an alternative to costly Internet hook up
 
Mostly used by aid organizations in remote places, e.g. rural Burundi by the Wo
rld Food Program.
VITA (Volunteers in Technical Assistance) has info.  See http://www.vita.org/co
mm/comm.html.  The
Healthnet project of Satelife has also experimented with this and with satellit
e technologies. See
http://www.healthnet.org/.  (For those without direct web access, write and I'l
l tell you how to
snag web pages with an email command.)
 
I'm still not sure how useful packet radio will be beyond these special setting
s like hospitals or
disaster relief where the value of information is seen as especially high and t
he availability of
resources tends also to be high.  Even in the case of Healthnet, by the way, I'
m told they mostly
rely on telephone connections rather than radio.  I hear radio was used during
the Ebola crisis in
Zaire.
 
Which raises this issue -- radio for this purpose is seen by some as something
of an interim
technology while we wait for the telephone network to spread.  First, I'm not s
ure the regular
telephone network will spread the way it did in America.  Keep your eye on Moto
rola... Second,
providing Internet access to a rural primary school doesn't seem to attract the
 same level of
concentrated interest as a hospital or a famine relief effort.  Nonetheless, I'
m hoping to push a
few radio experiments as pilot projects to help us flesh out some of the organi
zational and
sustainability issues.
 
By the way, packet radio isn't as exotic an idea as some people think. That tec
hnology is
surprisingly (to me at least) popular in North America. Check out
http://hydra.carleton.ca/start.html.  That's the Ottawa Packet Radio Club.  I'v
e been keeping in
the back of my mind for a couple of years now the idea that we might get some p
acket radio
hobbiests to join the Peace Corps (or VSO, or CUSO, etc.)
 
I notice the Ottowa group's homepage is on the computer at Carleton.  At the sa
me Carleton is the
retired professor project, which links retired profs to colleges around the wor
ld by email and
other technologies.  Now, if we could just get the two groups together...
 
Cheers!
Jeff @ Washington, DC USA
 
AfricaLink (Opinions expressed are solely the author's.)
http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk
Tel 1-703-235-5415

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