William Lester wrote:

> Congratulations! Fola Odufuwa has got it exactly right, IMHO. As we look
> for what was referred to in some previous posts as 'narrowband'
> solutions, the evolution of the mobile phone from a simple audio
> communication device to an internet gateway may prove to be the answer.

Yes.....but my concern is with Oke-Ogun, where there aren't any mobile
phone networks. Its an area that is normally neglected and at the end
of the queue when it comes to development, so there could be a long
wait. (To illustrate how far behind it is, we can look at "wireless",
and its old meaning of "radio". At Ago-Are and the surrounding area in
Oke-Ogun, there is no radio reception at all during the day, although
some programmes, such as Voice of America, can be picked up in the
evening and the early morning.)

When I visited Ago-Are in Oke-Ogun a local teacher pointed up to the
sparkling African night sky and asked me to show him once again the
satellite we had looked at together on a previous occasion - but I
didn't know where to look either. He was thinking back to when Solo
field trials were taking place. One evening, as we all sat out under the
stars (no electricity), sipping our appropriately named Star beers,
Paul, who was conducting the Solo trials, had pointed out the satellite
he was using for his email demonstrations. The teacher wanted to see
again this visible sign of a communication system that is in reach of
Ago-Are. Its been there for years. All that the Oke-Ogun project needs
is the resources to link to it. We don't *have* to wait for a mobile
phone network to make its way through Oke-Ogun. We only need a computer,
and power to drive it, and someone to help us find the money up front so
we can make the link to the satellite and check out in practice how best
to make it pay its way.

Regarding broadband and narrowband and all that, I'm no techie. We were
impressed by all the details that Paul and his team had worked out
regarding using Solos to set up email bureaux, so I am confident that he
had worked out the most cost effective way for us to connect - and I
know it was going to be just for email initially. I don't know exactly
how he was going to arrange it, or if we'd be able to arrange something
as advantageous outside of a Solo one-stop shop solution.

I just know we need to communicate into and out of and across Oke-Ogun,
and we don't want to wait until someone provides a mobile phone network.

Pam McLean
CAWD UK Volunteer on behalf of OOCD 2000+ (Oke-Ogun Community
Development Agenda 2000 Plus)

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