[kictanet] Fibre Optic

alice alice at apc.org
Mon Dec 3 20:28:15 EAT 2007

Dear all

Is the question whether or not the public infrastructure that we are 
investing in as a country is going to proof to be of value in the long 
A valid question indeed, because there are many types of info com 
infrastructure deployment initiatives that have not always produced or 
achieved the desired outcomes, resulting in networks that do not realise 
their potential value and as a result failure to realise universal 
access expectations. Reasons could be varied from the previous state of 
the market/sector, reluctant stakeholders, the overall political 
situation, even non-ambitious users, etc. etc.
We should however look at the TEAMS initiative broadly within the 
context of ICTs as enablers of socio-economic development... e.g 
improved delivery of health care services, better access to government 
services, increased quantity and quality of education/training 
opportunities and the list goes on.  The value of TEAMS will of course 
only be realised if we have wide spread national terrestrial fibre to 
complement it and locally generated content, services and applications. 
So the demand side is even more crucial therefore calling for greater 
participation of the users/consumers in this process.  So initiatives 
like our digital villages, which seem to follow the community owned 
network framework are essential...



robert yawe wrote:
> Alex,
> You again still have not justified the landing of the marine cable.
> 1.  Of the US 500 Million spent on satellite connectivity 80% is none 
> productive traffic such as porn, spam and chat (you and me both in 
> Nairobi but chatting on MSN).  Reducing costs is not necessarily the 
> only way to resolve an issue most of the times it is easier to 
> increase your income so that the expense as a percentage is lowered.
> 2.  Lets not replace the world bank loans with diaspora remittances, 
> let us become productive and more ingenious, lets take advantage of 
> our position as the most advanced economy in sub Saharan Africa.  We 
> need to lay fiber to the neighbouring countries so that we can pick 
> out sourcing contracts from Europe and America but set up the call 
> centers in the neighbouring countries.  That way we utilise our higher 
> value personnel to look for high value outsourcing.
> 3.  Dream on . . .
> 4.  Log onto a locally hosted site and experience true high speed 
> Internet, stop browsing foreign sites and the fiber ceases to be 
> essential.  I know Dr. Ndemo says we cannot be an Island, is it being 
> an Island when you are faithful to one partner.  Certain things can be 
> shared such as a hand shake or a conversation but certain activities 
> are best kept within.  Lets not over stretch ourselves bringing high 
> speed garbage when we can use technology to improve our lives, locally.
> 5.  Charity begins at home and so does B2B and B2C
> 6.  Out sourcing what???
> Have a good day.
> PS.  Delay fiber or perish
> Robert Yawe
> KAY System Technologies Ltd
> Phoenix House, 6th Floor
> P O Box 55806 Nairobi, 00200
> KEnya
> Tel: +254722511225
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Alex Gakuru <alexgakuru.lists at gmail.com>
> To: robert yawe <robertyawe at yahoo.co.uk>
> Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
> Sent: Friday, 30 November, 2007 6:25:46 PM
> Subject: Re: [kictanet] Fibre Optic
> Robert:
> I cannot rationally argue against fibre connectivity, but on processes 
> yes.
> Of course, I will argue hypothetically since if I responded seemingly
> with insider information then I would be misleading consumers. And you
> know my issues...
> On Nov 30, 2007 4:46 PM, robert yawe <robertyawe at yahoo.co.uk 
> <mailto:robertyawe at yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:
> >
> > Explain one issue to me, how will the marine cable increase the 
> remittances
> > from the diaspora, they are sending 3.9 billion over slow, expensive
> > satellite links why should we reduce this by spending 7 billion to 
> land the
> > fiber?
> 1. AfDB data shows that in total Africa spends US$ 500 million (shs 30
> billion) every year on transit satellite bandwidths.( i.e. 5 TEAMS
> projects). That would be a saving!
> 2. Back to your question, since it would be (promised very) cheap to
> call them, then we shall call them day and night "convincing" them how
> they have neglected mother Africa, poetically narrating Wanjiku's
> financial sufferings back home, her kiosk that needs only one-off
> stocking and her anguish will ease. They are only human.  They  will
> dig deeper into their pockets, miss a few lunches, tighten their
> belts, or speak nicely to their bosses on their urgent need to
> alleviate home poverty. If we collude and do this nationally for just
> one year, then we could quadruple remmitances to 16 billion shillings
> or at worst double it to 8 billion-enough to build a cable that will
> benefit us for the next 25 years:) That was on a light note though I
> am paraphrasing real comments attributable to *130* "Please call me"
> to diasporans.
> 3. Imagine starting a movie company. Be it a comedy, folk tales, Flora
> and Fauna, or like developing video games like Wesley Kiriinya's,
> "Adventures of Nyangi" http://www.sinc-studios.com/. The fibre gives
> one a potential 1.2 billion internet users customer base. Because THEY
> can play quality demo videos clips fast many are bound to purchase and
> if, say 10,000 buy a product at US$10 that would be Kshs 6 million.
> Such opportunities are lost every day we are not connected by fibre.
> 4. We have 2.7 million internet users. For how long does each one take
> tapping their fingers on the desk waiting for a slow web page to load?
> Multiply each one's lost productivity by 365 days/year then by 2.7
> million and compute the national productivity loss caused by slow, yet
> very expensive internet. Based on these mathematics OECD countries
> have put up a nifty graphic showing broadband rankings of member
> countries, but which also include average price of broadband and
> average throughput here
> http://www.fiberevolution.com/2007/11/us-lags-in-grap.html, pointer
> courtesy Bill St. Arnaud http://www.canarie.ca/. I would be
> interesting to have Dr. Ndemo's expected consumer prices to compare.
> 5. Consumer/Busineses costs saving would be the most apparent benefit.
> I need not dwell on that since we all feel them pretty well.
> 6. I also skip outsourcing.
> > Alex, all I ask is can you give me a logical reason why we should 
> spend 7
> > billion to land this fiber?
> Are above logical enough reasons sufficiently compelling justification
> to support the international fibre? But like I said, remember SAT3
> West Africa cable cost nearly the same as satellite because of
> Bandwidth cartels. So should be assured they have no space in TEAMS to
> clog broadband to consumers, but that is somebody's job. We are only
> asking for assurance it will not turn out to be a white grey elephant
> project:)
> >
> > I am aware this discussion is academic but it should not stop us from
> > questioning the rational.
> >
> That's the spirit! We keep Ndemo on his toes, always....
> Thanks,
> Alex
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