Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Connectivity Is Not The Right Word

2003-11-06 Thread Guido Sohne
On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 09:26, Peter Burgess wrote:

 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.

This seems to assume that one size fits all. That narrowband will be
adequate because it serves the needs of more people, the vast majority
in fact. Or another way of saying it is they don't yet need bulk data.

Maybe I am biased, not being part of the vast majority in my identity
makeup, but I think that while moving the masses forward, you shouldn't
lose sight of the possibility that real change sometimes starts from the
ones who are few, so to speak. The best analogy I have is from Snow
Crash, where the infocrats are described as feeding off 'biomass' just
like whales feed off krill. Both parts are important for a successful,
functioning 'system' IMHO.

Putting narrowband everywhere and forgetting about broadband can stifle
the growth of a small number of different, more modern, more innovative
actors. Not everyone needs broadband, but don't forget those who do!

I also agree that connectivity is not the whole issue. More the tip of
the iceberg. Education, better health care and more capital (monetary,
HR etc) are much, much more important. Connectivity should be reduced to
the status of a tool that implements, or helps implement, a deeper, more
fundamental strategy. Without a clear workable deep strategy, I don't
think we should even start on solving connectivity.

Put in yet another way, like Simon alluded to, we should work on
connecting the people locally but without knowing or planning for what
they are going to do with that connectivity is another matter. You can
place as much broadband in a village as you please but when they don't
know how to leverage this bandwidth, it just 'lowers the barriers' as
the gentleman from Cisco mentioned - a roundabout means of saying that
there are still some problems ...






This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative
Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides
more information.
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
For the GKD database, with past messages:
http://www.GKDknowledge.org


Re:[GKD-DOTCOM] Connectivity Is Not The Right Word

2003-11-05 Thread Peter Burgess
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
investment.

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 .. d .. 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
broadband!

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.

Sincerely

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.

..snip...

 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?





This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative
Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides
more information.
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
For the GKD database, with past messages:
http://www.GKDknowledge.org


[GKD-DOTCOM] Connectivity Is Not The Right Word

2003-11-03 Thread Simon Woodside
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.

Practically speaking, if you are in the West there are internet nodes
all around you. Especially in the early days of the internet,
universities had many nodes. My uncle ran the internet node at a
Canadian university for many years in the 80s. Today, the nodes at
universities remain, but there are many other nodes. Most ISPs have
nodes, where they connect to two types of lines, called peering lines
and transit lines. Peering lines connect to other equally important
nodes, while transit lines connect to larger nodes. There are
super-nodes in most of the biggest cities of the world. They are often
in the form of an Internet Exchange Point.

The power behind the internet is in interconnections. The names give it
away. The World Wide Web is called a web where each page is a node, with
lines of hyperlinks going to other pages, criss-crossing each other.
Look at a picture of the internet like these:
 http://research.lumeta.com/ches/map/gallery/isp-ss.gif
  
http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/front/lg-internet-poster-
black.gif
or this one:
http://www.hpcc.gov/fnc/internet.jpg

This one is by far the most interesting but it takes work to understand.
It's worthwhile IMO. It plots a large circle around the equator. Inside
the circle, the closer to the center a node is, the more perfectly
interconnected it is. You can trace each node out to the edge to see
what continent it is in (written in small letters around the edge).
 http://www.computer.org/internet/v5n1/ascore/
The most central nodes are, by axiom the most important!

Every country has a local internet. The local internet is the sum of
the nodes that reside inside the country. As long as data moves withiin
the local internet, all of the benefits and any payments are also local.
As the local internet grows, the ability of people locally, to peer
instead of pay with other parts of the internet grows as well.

The benefits of buliding local nodes are immediate. You don't need to
wait, check out the success stories of the few African IXPs that have
launched so far (Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and others). For
starters the people who are connected through an IXP save a LOT of money
and that means lower prices and/or better service passed on to the
users.

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?


simon





This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative
Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides
more information.
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
For the GKD database, with past messages:
http://www.GKDknowledge.org