Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Misunderstanding Broadband

2003-11-07 Thread Vickram Crishna
Al Hammond wrote:

 WiFi networks already cover ranges of 100 miles or more,
 with repeaters and tuned anntennae--in Laos, in California, in India,
 and in many other places.

If it is happening in India, sadly, it is illegal. We are only permitted
to operate WiFi indoors. However, the definition of *indoors* has been
extended to include the physical area of a campus. 100 miles and similar
extended areas, while highly desirable, seems hard to believe.

--
Vickram





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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Bringing Connectivity to Under-Served Communities

2003-11-07 Thread Robert Miller
Hello Thaths and Others:

Thaths wrote regarding the issue of viruses becoming bandwidth consumers
and ultimately undermining the user experience for students, faculty,
and others. While I had discussed the technology behind the solution I
wrote about, it provides a remotely managed server that is monitored
every 15 minutes to ensure it is healthy and all processes are running
properly. It backs itself up each night to protect all of the
information stored on it (email, student and faculty web pages, and a
personal folder for each user to securely save their work). So this is a
more robust solution that just a proxy server - as a matter of fact, its
built-in internal and external firewalls have even withstood the rigours
of student hackers, often the most creative and dangerous!

So, the bottom line is that such solutions are available, affordable,
and secure to ensure that resources continue to be available to all
authorized users, and the user experience continues to be reliable. In
addition, a local Google-like search engine is also built into each
CampusAxxess server and can provide users with the ability to search
this local repository at network speeds and access Internet web sites
that are refreshed nightly to reflect any changes made to the live
Internet version. Reliable access to rich content and applications at
local area network speeds - sounds easy and it is, but is also the
result of a 3 year RD project that was initially co-funded by the
Canadian Government Internet RD agency (Canarie) and subsequently
launched by the developer, Advanced Interactive, for the international
marketplace.

If you would like more information, please contact me.

Regards
Bob

Robert Miller
EVP Global Inc.
Direct:   (416) 423-9100
Mobile:  (416) 464-7525
Fax:  (416) 696-9734
Email:   [EMAIL PROTECTED] mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]


History teaches us that people and nations behave wisely, once they have
exhausted all other alternatives   Abba Eban






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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] How Much Bandwidth is Necessary?

2003-11-07 Thread Cornelio Hopmann
I would like to throw in my 20 ounces of salt ... and support Pam
McLean.

Stories from my life:

When changing the German National Research Center for Computing in 1985
for the Engineering University of Nicaragua I felt like I was
transported to the moon - dark side. Whereas in Germany I had already
access to uunet and email, a simple letter exchange from Nicaragua back
to Germany required 3-6 weeks.

Therefore I was extremely happy when I succeded in 1988 to connect by
long distance phone calls (Nicaragua--Vermont) 3 times a day Nicaragua
as Blue Internet Node (.ni) to UUNET...Suddenly affordable turn around
time was 48 hours -instead of 3 weeks- and more over the usenet
Newsgroups provided an excellent mechanism for getting help from
technical communities and their volunteers. (all by phone-calls and
compressed email transfer).

In 1994 we went online as a country (!!) sharing with Costa Rica a 64K
link (!) to the IX in Miami. Again a substantial change as from there on
we had not to pay for connection time -as in the phone-times- but rather
the limit of what is transferable was defined by mean time between
failure ie. it was possible to send everything (or to get everything)
if only the transmision-time did not exceed a couple of hours. We even
had software to schedule up/down-loads to low-traffic hours during the
night. (In that respect: there are hundreds of proven solutions still
around from those times where Usenet was a Dial-Up connected Network,
yet covering the whole globe with already hundreds of thousands of users
and hundreds of nodes. Many of those are still shipped as unknown parts
of FreeBSD or Linux with BSD compatible solutions, such that there is no
need to re-invent the wheel. These include Batched Mail-transfer not the
extremely resource intensive SMTP peer-to-peer email. Scheduled
transfers, the whole usenet-news mechanism with decentralized
multi-origin feeds yet locally made consistent etc. etc. etc.)

Obviously today  with a Cablemodem at my homeoffice -still in Nicaragua-
and effective 8-9 KB/s it's nice to chat with my son using WEB-cam (He
is on a 7 month visit to Germany). Likewise downloading 20 MB in minutes
facilitates ... but it's only a gradual change compared with the jumps
before.

Concluding Remarks: If WiFi and other Broadband Technologies cut
connection costs substantially, they may be extremely useful. However I
suspect -except true Broadband online comunication- that in 99% of the
cases a mix between distributing bulk information using DVD/RW as media
and combining it with a low-bandwidth connection will solve the problem.
(As an example: communication of medical information from remote places
can be split into burning lots of Info onto an DVD/RW and have it
shipped by what ever means are available combined with text-chat with
the counseling central hospital once the DVD arrived there. Assume you
get 3.6 GB of information this way in 12 hours to the hospital, it would
need almost 9 hours to send the same content through a 1 Megabit/second
direct connection).

Likewise 99% of eLearning-materials can be shipped as DVD/RW -as it does
not change day by day- and then locally combined with either
character-email or character-chat.

Hence: if the alternative is to connect many (and through-out the
country) by low-bandwidth or a few with megabyte links, go for the
first. The latter will come -almost by itself- as technology costs fall
and demand increases.


Yours

Cornelio






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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Misunderstanding Broadband

2003-11-07 Thread Wire Lunghabo James
I liked the statement below:

Al Hammond wrote:

 Thus the critical feature of broadband wireless is that it will lower
 end user cost, by aggregating more demand. The fact that it is broadband
 and allows more multimedia content (such as video mail and video
 conferencing, and face/voice recognition for secure identity in
 transaction, and more intuitive graphic interfaces--all important for
 semi-literate users) is simply a bonus. The key fact is the superior
 economics of wireless broadband from the point of the end user--these
 are not luxury class items, but instead absolutely critical to spreading
 connectivity access to poor communities at prices they can afford. I
 think it important that the ICT for development community become aware
 of these characteristics, so they don't unknowingly oppose advances that
 could really make a huge difference in poor communities.

However lets not lose sight of the kind of situations we are faced with.
We are looking at setting up systems which can outlive the donor life
of the project, cheap to maintain and rugged enough to operate under the
kind of rural conditions that one is faced with in many third world
countries.

If your broadband solution can meet the criteria (and any other that I
have left out) I have mentioned, then so be it. I do agree that for
highly illiterate communities, graphics is the way to go when
disseminating information. However if the cost of transmitting those
graphics is high, then we can as well still use the text based approach.
After all in many communities it is common to find a few key leaders who
are literate and usually are opinion leaders. These people could always
be the interface between the technology and the villagers. I like the
Nigerian society where chiefs are looked up to as leaders in their
various disciplines. To the best of my knowledge as long as you excel,
say in a farming community, they appoint you as a chief, and usually it
is these people who get a chance to read and even communicate with the
out side world on behalf of the village mates. So just like my friend Pam
said, they receive the text and communicate in the best way possible,
either through radio, or meetings.

Wire James

-- 
Wire Lunghabo James
M.D
Linux Solutions / Data Networks Uganda Limited
Kagga Hse
Plot 2 Bandali Close, Bugolobi
P.O.Box 26192
Kampala
Off: 256 41 505033 / 256 31 263033
Cell: 256 71 726609






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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Bringing Connectivity to Under-Served Communities

2003-11-07 Thread Guido Sohne
On Mon, 2003-11-03 at 17:26, Ahmed Isah wrote:

 In my opinion, Cornelio Hopmann got it all wrong. The issue is not to do
 with selling a useless product that has no demand. Rather, it has to do
 with whether the target market is really aware of the benefits of the
 product to them. This then boils down to illiteracy of the benefits of
 the Internet to the user. Take my case as an example. We provide a 24 PC
 Internet connectivity in an academic environment in Nigeria with about
 10,000 students and 400 academic staff. Yet, the connectivity was not
 maximally utilised. However, when we embarked on Internet awareness
 training to the students, we now have to plan for more PCs as the
 students continue to troop in.


On the contrary. He is making some points that people tend to miss a lot
of the time. Internet as Magic Solution to the World's Problems tends to
cloud otherwise good vision.

You essentially describe a case where you are generating demand which
ties in with his point that there is little demand to start with. He is
in effect saying the the real demand is at a more basic level (pumping
more mundane knowledge into people's brains) to which I might venture to
add the possibility that this is what will drive up demand to make the
impact of increased connectivity worth the direct cost (and indirect
cost from non-executed alternatives given a fixed potential amount of
funds).

It's sort of the same as the local content issue. No one seems to know
what to do with technology in certain areas such as so-called 'sub'
Saharan Africa and this results in incomplete ideas, such as just supply
bandwidth and some fuzzy benefit and it will all work out fine.

I guess people are trying to understand how the action will connect to
real benefits especially after having seen decades of failure for
development in general.






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