Note: This piece is an excerpt from a paper published by Summit Strategies in 2006 which evaluated the impact of KIXP between 2002-2006
Frontier bursting the local internet space - the case of Brian Longwe, 2006
One of the things that always puzzled me during the early days of our country’s Internet and while I was network manager for one of our first Internet Service Providers was the incredible delays on delivery of electronic mail to other local providers. After running a number of different diagnostics it became apparent that messages from my network to another local ISPs network – were going out of the country, to Europe, then across the Pacific ocean to the USA, then over to Asia before finding their way to their destination which was in many cases literally across the street!
This was obviously an unacceptable state of affairs and the subject of this inefficient routing of local traffic came up several times in discussions at the East African Internet Association (EAIA) – a group that I was involved in that brought together providers and consumers alike to share knowledge and experiences gained from the information-rich Internet. During these discussions various suggestions were tabled as to how we could deal with this problem, but none of them had the ring of truth to them that gave one the deep certainty that the problem once solved would remain solved.
Monday, April 09, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Intense Twitter Debate on Tech Business Brings Kenya's Top Minds Face-to-Face at NaiLab on Friday 9th
On request from @agostal and @kenyanpundit and accepted by all, its time to move from behind the keypads and have a debate that can accommodate more than 140 characters The Request: A forum that will allow you to express yourself, is government being fair in awarding Multi National Companies tenders yet claiming to develop local tech business, do we have local capacity to handle some of these
contracts?, are local tech companies being recruitment centers for the MNCs? Should private business depend on government contracts for growth? Are the same local companies giving smaller Startups and SME's similar opportunities... hard talk? maybe, the debate will be moderated by some of Kenyans best.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Note: This piece chronicles the role I played in setting up KIXP between 2000 and 2002
Sunday, February 26, 2012
undergoes reaction", another definition simply describes a reactor as "one that reacts to a stimulus". Our daily lives are full of all kinds of stimulus, some good, some bad, some fun, some boring, some
exciting, some mediocre - and we all react to these various stimuli in different ways. These reactions manifest themselves in a multiplicity of actions that we carry out on a daily basis that end up defining
what we do with the limited amount of time we have each day. The manner in which we react and order our reactions to these daily demands is what determines the kind of reactor we are. Whether we are efficient and effective or whether we are muddled up, messy and unclear.
How then, do we go about achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in our busy lives? How do we sift through the numerous demands placed on us for our time and attention and prioritise? How do
we ensure that the critical essentials are taken care of? This is where the big rock approach towards time management comes in. Let me explain.
TEAMs cable got damaged are as yet unclear, the incident has severely
affected Internet services in Kenya and neighboring countries.
The East African Marine Systems - commonly known as TEAMs was a
project initiated by the Kenyan government and implemented as a public
private partnership consisting mostly of Kenyan network operators. The
1.3 Terabit system, which launched with a lit capacity of 120 Gigabits
has completely transformed the quality and performance of Internet
services in the sub-region.
It seems that the cable cut occurred at some point around mid-day on
Saturday the 25th of February and was noticeable via most mobile
operators and Internet service providers' services being unavailable.
Immediate efforts to seek backup services from SEACOM, another
submarine cable that serves the region as well as backup satellite
connections resulted in partial restoration of services, although for
some Internet customers these came as late as Sunday morning.
It is reported that the cable cut has occurred about 4 kilometers into
the ocean on the Kenyan side. The cable which links Kenya's coastal
city of Mombasa to Fujairah in the Middle East, interconnects with a
variety of other International submarine cable systems to link
Africa's eastern seaboard to the rest of the world.
This first major incident will be a true test of the fault response
and repair capabilities of Alcatel, the organization that holds the
maintenance and support contract for TEAMs.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
makes a social statement which clearly separates the goats from the sheep. The current item that is clearly marking the more progressive in Kenyan middle-class society is the digital SLR camera.
One only has to grace a school swimming gala, graduation or wedding to see the very visible display of DSLR cameras. It is not uncommon to
have tens and tens of Nikon, Canon and Sony DSLR devices hanging around the necks, over the shoulders and in the grips of young urban
professionals at these events. In much the same way that a mobile phone seemed to convey upon it's bearer the appearance of being progressive, techno-savvy and socially fluent, the DSLR camera has solidly stamped it's authority as one of the modern labels of social standing.
While for many it serves purely as a status symbol and practically is used in much the same way cheaper point-and-shoot digital cameras are, there are those who have genuinely caught the photography bug and actively invest in and practice the art as a hobby outside of their day jobs and careers. Those who have distinguished themselves include the likes of Mutua Matheka http://mutuamatheka.co.ke, David Kiania http://www.shutterdiplomacy.com and Mark Muinde,
http://www.sokomoto.com all of whom have set up online portfolios that hold some breathtaking photographic works of art. While Mutua seems to have become a favorite wedding photographer for young, modern couples, David's work tends to consist largely of events where he bravely captures candid moments that carry the feeling and experience of the moment. Mark and his partner have distinguished themselves with a dedicated stock photography site where they hold what can only be
described as photographs that capture the African experience in imagery that shows both the traditional and non-traditional aspects of African and especially Kenyan society and environment.
knowledge on how to wield the DSLR camera as part of the art that uses images to talk and touch and feel. And, since you asked, the DSLR that I am saving and scraping every red cent that I can spare for is the Nikon D-7000 *swoon*
Monday, January 16, 2012
Having not received a response by mid-morning the next day, I decided to post a message to the local tech mailing list "Skunkworks" asking for help in making contact with Zuku. As usual I got a lot of very helpful responses, made a couple of phone calls and within 1 hour had a sales representative sitting in my dining room taking me through the various packages and options. I couldn't decide which TV package to get because he didn't have the printed TV Guide with the channel listings so we agreed that he would email it to me later and we would pick up the following day.
The next day, after reviewing the channel listings, I decided on the package I wanted, stopped by the sales office in my neighborhood and made the payment for installation and first month's service. I then went home to wait. Within less than 1 hours a technical team was on site doing the installation and 1 hour later I was flipping channels on my TV. It took a little longer to get the internet and telephone service up because the provisioning involved the installers getting a "customer code" and linking it to my service type. Nevertheless, within 2 hours I had blazing fast broadband (I chose the 8MB shared service) and a working telephone line in the house.
All I can say is that I was very impressed at the service. Having run ISPs for close to 10 years myself I know how hard it is to get a smooth transition between sale, service subscription, installation, configuration and commissioning. Zuku seems to have gotten it right.