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Overview of Internet in The Gambia. By: Muhammed Jah QuantumNET Company Limited. What is covered?. History of Internet in The Gambia Current Situation: Achievements Issues & Constraints Recommendations & Strategies. Brief History of the Internet in The Gambia.

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overview of internet in the gambia

Overview of Internet in The Gambia

By: Muhammed Jah

QuantumNET Company Limited

what is covered
What is covered?
  • History of Internet in The Gambia
  • Current Situation: Achievements
  • Issues & Constraints
  • Recommendations & Strategies
brief history of the internet in the gambia
Brief History of the Internet in The Gambia
  • 1992-1993 : GAMTEL offered X.25 Network Services in GBA
  • 1993 : BICI pioneered X.25 WAN in GBA
  • 1995: GAMTEL introduced CompuServe Services with limited internet access through X.25 with BT Info Services
  • 1996: Delphi Internet services introduced
brief history contd
Brief History (contd.)
  • Mar. 1997: Abuja Meeting - UNDP Internet Initiative for Africa
  • Oct. 1998:2MBps Full Internet backbone nationwide , with 512K gateway bandwidth
  • Nov. 1998: 2 ISPs operational, Gamtel & QuantumNET
reference point
Reference Point
  • Population ~ 1.3 million
  • Literacy: 37%
  • 24 Senior Sec. Schools
  • 3 Higher learning institutions
  • UOG being established
  • Access to PC’s limited
current situation connectivity
Current Situation - Connectivity
  • Basic Infrastructure:
    • Countrywide Internet backbone with 12 PoPs.
    • No. 3 in Africa, after S.Africa and Egypt,
    • ISPs connect directly to backbone, no int’t access
current situation connectivity8
Current Situation - Connectivity
  • Dialup Users:
    • 1997: <150
    • 2000: Total may be 3000 - 5000 people with access (due to sharing), <100 in rural; 120 access lines
current situation connectivity9
Current Situation - Connectivity
  • Senior Secondary Schools with access:
    • 6 -10 in GBA, 2 in Provinces, all dialup
  • Higher Educational Institutions:
    • 2 with full connectivity: GTMI & MDI
    • Others on dialup like UoG, Gambia College, GTTI, RDI
current situation connectivity contd
Current Situation (connectivity contd.)
  • Research Centers:
    • 1 with full connectivity: MRC (Fajara & Farafenni)
  • NGOs:
    • Virtually all on dialup, UNDP on full link.
  • Hotels and Travel agents:
    • All, on dialup.
  • Gov. Mins & Depts.:
    • All in GBA, on dialup.
  • Cyber-Cafes:
    • about 10 in 18 months, all in the GBA! 40% Gambians
current situation cost
Current Situation - Cost
  • Investment:
    • Before:~$50, 000 for X.25
    • After:Total Invest probably >US$2M mainly by UNDP< GAMTEL & QuantumNET.
  • Dialup Charges:
    • Before: ~10cents/minute + traffic
    • After: $17 unlimited access + ~2 cents/minute telephone charges
  • Leased Charges:
    • Before: Not applicable
    • After: $1,500/month for 64K $3000/month for 128K
current situation capacity building
Current Situation - Capacity building
  • Training:
    • Before: few indigenous personnel with knowledge
    • After: Over 20 personnel from potential ISP's trained on Internetworking through IIA
  • Equipment:
    • Before: X.25 switch
    • After: Cisco routers, access servers, Suns, etc
current situation key players
Current Situation - Key players
  • Gov. Dept. of State for Works & Comm.
  • UNDP
  • GAMTEL
  • Private ISP
  • Private Sector - small businesses especially
  • NGOs, EDU sector, include research institutions
issues constraints
Issues & Constraints
  • KEY ISSUES:
    • Policy and Regulation
    • Connectivity & Costing
    • PARTNERSHIP & Advocacy - awareness (I-Week)
    • Innovation & good choice of ICT deployment
    • ICT Curriculum and Fast Track programs
issues constraints16
Issues & Constraints
  • Very Low PC penetration:
    • figure not known
  • Low telephone density:
    • provinces especially
  • Very low Computer literacy level:
    • determined by school literacy
  • Electricity problems:
    • especially outside GBA: many fear to install PC’s
issues constraints17
Issues & Constraints
  • ISP operational cost too high:
    • 64k connection at ~$16,000 pa and Licensing fee ~US$4,000 pa, running costs (electricity, salaries, security).
    • Low Market base, Revenue Collection, No customer roaming
  • High PC costs:
    • due to import tax, etc.
  • Non-ISP Host Connection too high:
    • Gamtel charges same rate applied to ISP at $16,000 pa, Special concession 60% discount given to EDU
  • Low Digital resources:
    • little online data.
recommendations strategies
Recommendations & Strategies
  • Gov. DOS W&C finalize Internet policy issues in NACIP currently in draft
  • Reduction in Tariffs
  • Advocacy: more for Internet on public media (I-WEEK 2000, ISOC Gambia Chapter)
  • Introduce IT education in schools
recommendations strategies19
Recommendations & Strategies
  • DOS W&C set clear-cut deliberate policies:
    • DOS W&C institute different boards and working groups for ICT development.
    • Policy on digitalization of Gov. offices and public data in key institutions: health, finance, etc
    • Academic institutions be empowered to take charge of Internet administration
    • 0% tax on IT imports for EDU purposes
recommendations strategies20
Recommendations & Strategies
  • Differential tariff structure, to encourage more host connection and thus demand.
  • Deploy inexpensive sharing technologies e.g. Proxy routers, Domain Mail software for schools and training centers, etc. all free with Linux and other packages.
  • ISDN connection: alternative, can be cheaper for Small businesses.
recommendations strategies cont d
Recommendations & Strategies (Cont’d)
  • Our current facility came as a result of UNDP GoG. Partnership in IIA project
  • ISPs work in partnership with NGOs: to deliver services in rural areas, both benefit.
  • Technology Programs on GRTS and radio stations
  • Creation of working groups who can co-ordinate these kind of activities and help build capacity especially for CONTENT development
conclusion
Conclusion
  • The way forward
    • Commitment & dedication of all key players to ensure that Internet is accessible and affordable to everyone