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Hi,
 
I am not per se against profit. However in a venture where outside (development)
funding is involved I do wonder why the donor would want to pay twice as much
as necessary. In this particular field a non profit approach will work better then
the commercial one. See NAMIDEF as the example vs Jeff's budget.
 
AND, once it is proven the market exists, the big ISPs will be coming, viz IS.CO.ZA
going into ventures with ICAFE.COM.NA and IWWN.COM.NA.
 
Where Menghestab is totally right is that the big providers will NOT lease local lines
into areas where they don't make a profit. The big Telecom companies do the very
same they just pick the profitable traffic.
 
An NGO can do this easier. First of all there is donor funding for the infrastructure
and training (and of course for operating expenses but this should only be accepted
if you can match local subscriptions to it so you can take over when the project runs out).
Secondly an NGO can plow their "profit" into this. Thirdly an NGO can make bigger
subscribers subsidize the smaller ones (which we do here).
 
What we need in the rural areas is Water, Agriculture, Education, Health and
Infrastructure (Roads, Telecomms etc).
 
Not necessarily in that order. Interesting how much one is related to the other,
isn't it? Internet can play a role here. Motivation of teachers and students. Support
to NGOs actually operating there. Telemedicine (and you will find that a QuickTake
on a Mac can do amazing things), Medical Literature, Abstracts and discussion groups
(I have changed my practice several times the last two years due to suggestions and
info picked up here.) Drug ordering and lots of small, cheap but very effective
applications. The Water Department is working on a serious network with us.
 
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.