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Greetings and sorry for not getting back sooner!

On March 27, Jeff Cochrane wrote:
>
>David Lush of MISA forwards from AIA:
>
>>After instituting the Autobank, the CBM has now gone on-line
>>and customers linked to the Internet are able to transact from
>>home some limited business, such as updating balance books.
>
>Thanks for sharing that article with us.  Most interesting.  A few
>questions...

I was hoping Chik Mbvundula or some of the other Malawi techies could
expand on the situation. I was in Malawi in October, and e-mailing was
difficult enough given the appalling state of the phones in Malawi. As for
on-line banking etc... Can any Malawians brief us further and give Jeff
some answers?

Best wishes.

>
>I wonder, must customers be linked to the Internet?  Or do they dial
>up a CBM modem bank?  The former possibility strikes me as
>improbable, but perhaps the author of the AIA story has information
>unavailable to me.
>
>The AIA article continues:
>
>>Only two media houses have so far subscribed to Misanet, but
>>project coordinator Bentry Mdhluli says MISA is working hard
>>to connect all subscribing media institutions and individuals by the
>>end of the year. (Africa Information Afrique)
>
>David, what is the physical link between Malawi and Misanet?  What
>data transmission protocol is used?  Is that link available only to
>persons with connections to the media?  If available to others, what
>prices are paid?
>
>Regarding Compuserve, AIA reports:
>
>>At the moment, a low capacity link is apparently available from
>>the University of Malawi and is providing live Internet and
>>CompuServe access to the outside world...
>>South Africa's Council for Industry Research and Internet
>>Africa, CSIR, provides Malawi and Southern Africa with their
>>own local number links to CompuServe through the CSIR
>>world network gateway.
>
>Information available to me indicates the Compuserve link is
>available on a local number to be sure, but the charge for using that
>local number is reportedly about $36 an hour, on top of Compuserve's
>regular hourly charge of $2.50 after the first 5 per month.  By
>African standards I'd say that line usage charge is equivalent to a
>regional/international line, so it's somewhat misleading to call it a
>"local" line at that price.  It would more accurately be called a
>local number link to an international line.
>
>Is the AIA article author's information different?  My data are
>about a year old, are from a secondary source, and may very well not
>be correct.  AIA uses the word "apparently" which is a word I use
>when I'm unable to gain independent verification of information.  So
>perhaps the author of that story has had the same difficulty as I in
>getting info from Malawi.
>
>Cheers!
>Jeff @ Washington DC USA
>
>[log in to unmask]
>http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk
>1111 North 19th Street Suite 210
>Arlington, VA 22209 USA
>Tel 1-703-235-5415  Fax 1-703-235-3805

David Lush
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Private Bag 13386
Windhoek, Namibia
Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016
e-mail: [log in to unmask]