Dear Colleagues,

Broadband is a real enemy of development.

One of my staff summed up the situation in the underdeveloped SOUTH way
back in the 1970s when he said that "Every year that goes by they get
another 10 years behind".

And broadband is the sort of technology initiative that helps make this
a sad reality.

There is nothing wrong with broadband as a step forward from other
connectivity, but making broadband the standard before any other form of
connectivity is universal (not to mention a lot of other basic needs) is
a humanitarian disaster.

Once again we have an obscene allocation of scarce development
resources. We need to systemicly optimise value adding in development
and end value destruction through development and foreign direct

I agree with Simon Woodside that connectivity is not the right focus.
Export driven development has failed largely because when everyone is
exporting to drive development, the supply booms and nothing happens
with demand ...... daaaaaaaa ...... the prices go down .... terms of
trade tank. Development is about the quality of life in a community
getting improved, and that is about value adding in the community.
Having the ability to communicate LOCALLY is enormously valuable, and
should be done better than yesterday, but it need not be done using

Simon has described the importance of the nodes. Absolutely yes. And the
key nodes in quality of life are those that relate to the living that
goes on in the community.

My vote is for narrowband EVERYWHERE connecting little local nodes.
Improve the local infrastructure, and don't focus just on the
international part of it. And my vote is for using technology to reduce
the cost and price of basic communication rather than to maximise
revenue for the technology producers by selling more and more complexity
that adds a lot to the visual experience but not very much at all to the
underlying messages being communicated.


Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess
ATCnet in New York
Tel: 212 772 6918 Fax: 707 371 7805
[EMAIL PROTECTED] for secure messages

Simon Woodside wrote:

> I was paying attention when the internet was first developing in the
> west, here in Canada in particular. I think that the history of the
> internet is largely ignored by those who are developing connectivity for
> the developing world. But ignored, at the risk of going off in the
> completely wrong direction.
> The internet is all about "nodes". A node is a knot between strands, a
> place where many lines come together. In a computer network, it's a
> point of interconnection, where two data lines cross. What happens in
> the node, is that the data intermingles and doubles. Data that enters a
> node can exit in any direction, or in all directions at once.


> So ... connectivity is not the right goal. The goal should be, what are
> you doing to build the LOCAL internet. Not just to connect people but to
> interconnect them by creating internet nodes?

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