[gu-new] (03/22/07)-B SONbuddy e-collaboration system and EASSY
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D.
utsumi at columbia.edu
Thu Mar 22 21:59:25 EST 2007
<<March 22, 2007>>
Archived distributions can be retrieved at;
This archive includes a html version of this list distribution and its
MS/WORD version with its filename as ³month-date-year.doc.² You can also
access all of its attachments, if any.
Margaret E Ngwira <mengwira at kcn.unima.mw>
Prof. Ali Almashat, FIEE, C. ENG. <ali.almashat at gmail.com>
Dr. Pablo Pulido <pablopulido1 at compuserve.com>
Thomas Thomson <tmthomson at gmail.com>
Honorio Silva, MD <silvah at pfizer.com>
Mr. Adedoyin Ademilola <aademilola at iwtgc.com>
Mr. Robert D.Woog <rwoog at iwtge.com>
Alfred Sallia Fawundu (BA, MA, FCANTAB) <asfawundu at gmail.com>
Dr. Thomas Mensah <gaaerosp55 at aol.com>
(1) Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I) in response to my following
previous list distribution;
> (03/21/07) Possible creation of GUS/Palestine/Gaza Strip and Peace Gaming
(2) Pls ask anything about SONbuddy to Ali.
(3) You may visit my following previous list distribution;
> (02/02/07) Workshop of Project Globe CPD and Globe EduHealth Institute and
> Healthcare Project in Altai Region, Siberia, Russia
Pls feel free to contact Pablo, Tom or Honorio if they can be of any help to
your e-learning training for the learners at your College of Medicine at the
University of Malawi. They are now organizing a consortium for continuing
medical education (CME) in worldwide scale.
(4) I visited the web site of your UbuntuNet Alliance <www.ubuntunet.net>
with great interest. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate your
However, how is the progress of EASSY? -- see ATTACHMENT II below. It
sounds grim yet but I noticed a good words on your College of Medicine by
Joe Mlenga, Blantyre, Malawi.
Without having a submarine optical cable to the outside world, your African
countries would have continuing trouble in the years ahead.
> Dear Adedoyin, Bob, Alfred, and Tom Mensah:
> You may be interested in reading this article, albeit a bit old. Your
> services would become a great help to them.
(5) Lastly, pls convey my best personal regards to Prof. Kamwanja, Chomora
Mikeka and Soustain Chigalu. Is Chomora still in Japan yet?
> From: mengwira <mengwira at kcn.unima.mw>
> Organization: Kamuzu College of Nursing
> Reply-To: mengwira <mengwira at kcn.unima.mw>
> Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 13:17:38 +0200
> To: <utsumi at columbia.edu>
> Cc: Chomora Mikeka <chomoramikeka at yahoo.com>, Anthony Muyepa
> <muyepaa at medcol.mw>, Kondwani Wella <kwella at kcn.unima.mw>,
> <dchiweza at medcol.mw>
> Subject: Sonbuddy e-collaboration system
> Good day Tak,
> Can you tell me more about the SONbuddy system attached in your today's
> message - we are about to work on some e-learning training for Universityof
> Malawi College of Medicine
> Malawi ( and UbuntuNet Alliance www.ubuntunet.net - check out the site for
Warning over African internet cable
Campaigners fear that a new fibre optic cable which could revolutionise
internet use in East Africa could become a missed opportunity.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) says a similar cable
linking West and Southern Africa has not provided the benefits of cheaper,
faster internet access because it is controlled by state-owned monopolies -
or their privatised successors - which still enjoy near monopolies.
The APC say there will be a similar lack of competition in East Africa,
meaning prices will remain high and so high-speed access like broadband will
still be beyond the reach of most people.
Telecoms analyst Eddie Murphy told the BBC News website that the cable will
definitely make a "significant difference" to download speeds because at
present, there is nothing similar in East Africa.
He does agree, however, that prices are likely to stay high unless other
companies are allowed access to the East African Submarine Cable System
Work is due to start on Eassy in the next few months and it is expected to
come online by the end of next year.
APC executive director Anriette Esterhuysen said there have been two
problems with the way the existing Sat3 cable - which goes from Portugal
around West and Southern Africa to Asia - has been used.
* Firstly that countries without a direct connection to the cable - such as
Namibia - are reliant for their access on a single foreign company, which
can charge exorbitant fees without fear of competition;
* Secondly that companies which dominate their domestic markets are under
little pressure to provide a fast, cheap service to their consumers.
Ms Esterhuysen says Nitel still dominates the Nigerian market and has been
slow to offer broadband to consumers.
In contrast, Sat3 has led to a huge expansion in internet access in Ghana,
But Mr Murphy from the UK-based Communications Research Network said the
idea that telecoms companies would build this cable and not want to increase
the number of people with internet access is "risible".
He said that a lot of money is needed and the businesses will want to recoup
>> High prices mean that there are a significant number of countries where the
>> full capacity of the cable has not been used
>> Russell Southwood
>> Internet analyst <_41424942_africa_fibre_optic2_map203.gif>
"The criticisms being levelled show a fundamental naivety about how business
Eassy has failed to answer questions from the BBC News website about the
The project finance is still being finalised and APC says that 19 of the 24
African companies which have signed up are incumbent operators, likely to be
able to dominate their domestic markets.
Some companies are already building satellite connections to improve
internet access but the cable would be much cheaper.
It should also mean that e-mails sent for example from Zambia to Tanzania
would no longer have to go via the UK, or the US, making a huge difference
to delivery times.
But campaigners fear that the cable might not actually make much difference
to consumers because of high prices.
"Rates on Sat3 have been as high as $25,000 per Mb per second per month but
are now around $10-15,000. The actual cost to the operator is around
$2,000," says Russell Southwood of Balancing Act, a UK-based internet
company specialising in Africa.
"These are very large margins. High prices mean that there are a significant
number of countries where the full capacity of the cable has not been used."
But South Africa's Telkom, which is involved in both Sat3 and Eassy, says
the existing cable has already made a big difference to internet
"Since the introduction of the Sat3 cable to the market in 2002,
international bandwidth prices for South African users reduced by
approximately 70%," spokeswoman Lulu Letlape told the BBC News website.
Telkom's monopoly in the South African landline market is due to be broken,
possibly by the end of the year.
The new competitor will also enjoy access to the cables, Ms Letlape says.
But APC and the other campaigners are not convinced.
They are calling for the financing of Eassy - and therefore its use - to be
opened up to smaller companies, who they say would be more dynamic in
selling internet access to consumers.
Are you reading this article in Africa? How good is your internet
connection? Are you looking forward to Eassy? Have connections in West and
Southern Africa improved with the new cable?
The internet connection is still as bad as it was been previously. It is
slow but very slow at midday. In our media lab at my college, we sometimes
have to log-out of the computer during the computer or designing classes
simply because the internet server cannot accommodate all the students
Atuhe, Windhoek, Namibia
I look after the technology for an office in Johannesburg. A couple of years
ago it used to cost 90 pence a minute to call. Competition and internet
technology now means that the same call would cost four pence a minute. This
price reduction followed the commissioning of the new fibre optic link.
Whilst the telecommunication companies can get away with high charges in
other countries there is no motivation to implement lower cost technologies.
Charles Smith, London, UK
I am afraid that the reduction in bandwidth prices in South Africa, as
stated by Telkom's Lulu Letlape, is not felt by the consumer. I for one
cannot afford personal ADSL at home, because the monthly charges are more
than my medical aid, and the service and speeds are non existent. Since ADSL
has been introduced in South Africa not much has happened on the
price/performance front. It has remained stagnant for way too long now:
Prices are ridiculous for what you get, and waiting up to six months (or
more) to get a line installed is typical.
Rudolph Keown, Cape Town, South Africa
The comment made by Telkom is untrue. There has been no reduction in
international bandwidth in South Africa yet. In fact, in some cases since 1
November 2005, some international bandwidth prices has actually increased by
more than 600%.
Willem Smith, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Can't wait for Eassy - hopefully it will lower prices. I have not seen this
70% reduction of bandwidth prices. Telkom is known for twisting the truth.
Yes, there has been a reduction in international call rates (but not data
rates), but this was mainly due to VOIP being legalized.
Andre Fourie, Cape Town, South Africa
As an expatriate living in Lagos, Nigeria, my broadband internet is
surprisingly far more reliable than my connections in Nebraska, Oregon, and
Washington, DC. This connection, speed, and reliability comes at a cost of
nearly $150 per month with a $500 start up cost. If Eassy can provide
competition, or cut down on the cost of maintaining the proper
infrastructure without government support, then I am certainly looking
forward to it.
Amy, Lagos, Nigeria
Our connection is still by the telephone and very very slow. No fibre optic
yet, and the service is very expensive.
Terry Madden, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
The connection is horrible over here. Sometimes it is fast but most of the
time it can take 20 to 30 minutes just to connect and obviously it's slow to
surf. Prices are very high but there is no demand so I don't blame monopoly
for this. Other than BBC and other news no-one is really interested in the
internet anyway. Companies will only bankrupt if more come here to compete.
It was the same slow speed when I went for vacation in Nairobi.
Mariam, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Regulated competition, and fair access to major infrastructure such as these
cables by more than one firm, is a must. The monopoly telecoms firm in
Botswana has just rolled out ADSL using four ISPs where a limited 768Mb
service will cost about Euro 240pm to the ISP, plus extra fees to the
telecoms firm for service, compulsory installation and compulsory purchase
of a modem. Although circumstances and volumes are different to those in
more developed countries, regional governments must seek to develop
regulated competition to share the benefits of the improved technology. If
they don't, technology remains out of reach for all except a tiny minority,
as the prices remain high to pay large dividends to the government
Graeme Keay, Gaborone, Botswana
Internet access has improved in few selected places such as the College of
Medicine and some internet cafes that can afford broadband connection. I
work for the national broadcaster, MBC, and the connection is still dial-up;
slow and prone to break down without warning. The fees at the cafes are
exorbitant for the man in the street. The long and short of it, is that we
are yet to see the tangible benefits of the cable!
Joe Mlenga, Blantyre, Malawi
Ms Letape's comments are blatantly untrue: international bandwidth is
ridiculously expensive in South Africa, and has not reduced by the amount
she claims. Even countries like Reunion and Mauritius (tiny in comparison to
South Africa and with much lower levels of infrastructure have lower priced
bandwidth than South Africa). Telkom as a partially state-owned monopoly
continues to set unacceptably high pricing in order to shore up their
profits in South Africa. Access to telecommunications is a key driver of
economic growth, and Telkom's actions are severely retarding the growth of
Andrew Fraser, Johannesburg, South Africa
The main problem with internet access in Nigeria is the high cost of access.
Nitel which holds a monopoly on Sat3 is deliberately slow, short-sighted and
unyielding to suggestions. Current developments in the sector have been
ignored by the management. Here we have access through the ISDN technology
and the nearest POP is 400km away. Downtimes are a common occurrence - 30%
of the day.
Ekanem Ekpa, Eket, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
SAT3 has not really made a difference in Nigeria yet but rather has become a
major political hot potato delaying the privatization of the former state
monopoly, NITEL. On a visit to Ghana last October, I noticed that the Accra
cybercafes offered cheaper and faster browsing than in Lagos. Internet
connections in Nigeria are very slow and expensive though the situation is a
lot better than five - six years ago. Cybercafes using VSAT are ubiquitous
in Lagos and some private landline and cellphone companies offer net access.
Ndubisi Obiorah, Lagos, Nigeria
Internet connection in Accra is quite unreliable. GT, the sole operator of
the SAT3 cable is not efficiently utilising it and as such costs are high,
and efficiency, very poor. There was previously a boom of internet cafes,
but almost all have closed down now due to high recurrent costs. Try
downloading a 50 Mb file, and see the hours it will take. In the rural
areas, there is virtually no internet connection. And the internet in these
areas, costs about three to five times the internet charge in Accra. Some of
the universities are relying on VSAT connection at exorbitant rates which
they prefer because of its reliability.
Don, Accra, Ghana
We use a satellite broadband connection for our office and the speed is
quite decent. Though, it is quite clear that ISPs providing these services
do realise that customers are often at their mercy and services are often
not what is promised and since customers do not have too many options, they
have to pay for these through their noses although not too happily. Of late,
Ghana Telecom has come in and offered ADSL broadband services to office and
residential consumers and this has been quite a revelation. I use the above
service at home for about US$100/month and the speed is better than the one
at the office (where we pay nearly five times more). However, service is
quite appalling. If there is a problem, it could take quite a long while
before it is rectified as the technicians have to be lured with the usual
sops to have the job done. But, times have certainly changed in Africa.
Until about five years ago, broadband connection was unheard of or was
exorbitant and most people would go to cyber cafe to check mail but now more
and more people have started buying computers for homes as well and are
willing to pay for the same.
Raja, Accra, Ghana
Well, I live in Egypt, and I must say the quality of the internet connection
is fairly high when dealing with local servers. I play online games fairly
regularly, but unfortunately due to the lack of 'proper' cabling between
Egypt and the rest of the world, all game servers off the African continent
are subject to fairly high pings, which degrade performance and slow down
games considerably. It would be more beneficial to create a fibre link
between Egypt and Europe, for example, since there isn't a monopoly here,
and many businesses would be able to take advantage of cutting edge
technology to simply their operations.
Talha Asmal, Cairo, Egypt
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/15 15:25:06 GMT
© BBC MMVII
List of Distribution
Margaret E Ngwira
College Librarian and Secretary, MALICO
Kamuzu College of Nursing
University of Malawi
Private Bag 1, LILONGWE
Tel: +265 (0)1 757 456
Fax +265 (0)1 756 090
mengwira at kcn.unima.mw
tnmngwira at globemw.net
mgtngwira at hotmail.com
Prof. Ali Almashat, FIEE, C. ENG.
Former Ambassador to UNESCO from Iraq
ali.almashat at gmail.com
rafidian at wanadoo.fr
Dr. Pablo Pulido
PanAmerican Federation of Associations of Medical Schools
Apartado de Correos 60411
pablopulido1 at compuserve.com
pablopulido at cantv.net
fepafempafams at viptel.com
Fundacion Universidad Metropolitana
Autopista Petare - Guarenas
La Urbina, Apdo
Tel: (0212) 242-4320 / 242-3087
(0212) 241-77-34 / 242-43-72 (direct)
Fax: (0212) 242-5148
Sede de la Direccion Ejecutiva
Calle el Torreon, Quinta FEPAFEM
Urb. Sorocaima, La Trinidad
+58-2-93-0875 / 943-2840 / 93-0857
73000.1447 at compuserve.com
Project Globe Consortium
for continuing projessional development
New York Office Headquarters
708 3rd Avenue 6/38
New York, NY 10017, USA
info at globecpd.org
fepafempafams at viptel.com
Senior Vice President
Aon Management Consulting
Executive Secretary Project Globe CPD
Global EduHealth Institute
708 Third Avenue 6/36
tmthomson at gmail.com
Honorio Silva, MD
Science and Medical Professional Development
Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals
235 E. 42nd Street, 235/13/23
New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.
Tel 212 733 7270
Fax 212 499 3916
silvah at pfizer.com
Mr. Adedoyin Ademilola
Chairman and CEO
West Africa Fibre Optic Project
Infinity Worldwide Telecommunications Group of Companies (IWTGC)
305 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10165
+1 212 807 5549
aademilola at iwtgc.com
Mr. Robert D.Woog
Managing Director and COO
West Africa Fibre Optic Project
Infinity Worldwide Telecommunications Group of Companies (IWTGC)
305 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10165
+1 212 807 5549
rwoog at iwtge.com
Alfred Sallia Fawundu (BA, MA, FCANTAB)
Specialist African Development Issues
80 Old Freetown Road (Off Spur Road)
Email: asfawundu at gmail.com
Tel: +232 22 232771
Officer in Charge
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Rm 2466 24th Flr
1 UN Plaza (1st and 44th Str.)
New York, NY
212-906 5951/5921 office
Tel: 212-906-5921 (Assistant at UNDP Africa Bureau, NY)
asfawundu at gmail.com
Alfred.s.fawundu at undp.org
Dr. Thomas Mensah
Inventor, President, CEO, Founder
GA Aerospace Manufacturing
225 Peachtree St
Suite 1440, 14th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
404 221 1780
gaaerosp55 at aol.com
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.)
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education
* Founder and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of
* Global University System (GUS)
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-5913, U.S.A.
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Email: utsumi at columbia.edu
* Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 12575 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : /pipermail/attachments/20070322/04adf362/attachment-0001.obj
More information about the gu-new