Multiple dishes is a common sight at many Nenasalas – the ‘telecentres’ set up under the e-Sri Lanka program, funded by the World Bank. Some of them are huge – with diameters little less than 2m. Having not done a design recently, I cannot tell the prices offhand, but I do know they are expensive – one such dish (with equipment) costs few times more than the aggregate cost of the PCs and peripherals in the centre. Why a telecenter is equipped with multiple dishes? The reason is, sadly, poor planning.
On January 16, 2008 a bus bomb went off killing 25 and injuring more than 60, in a remote area of Moneragala, arguably the least connected district in the island. Within less than two hours, the international news channels were up with clips. Nuwan Sameera (inset) FTPed them from his Nenasala telecenter in Bibile town – about one hour journey away. Nuwan operates just within 200 m from a telecom tower (see photo) but bureaucracy is bureaucracy. Spending World Bank money generously, ICTA, the implementation agency of Nenasala telecenter network under the e-Sri Lanka program, first provided a VSAT link from a different operator.
Exactly seven years from yesterday (still today to some), early in the morning on September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. The hijackers flew two of the airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was either the United States Capitol or White House, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Serving Sri Lanka: Indian Ocean tsunami warning capabilities improving Addressable satellite radio sets were found to be the best alerting technology of the community disaster warning pilot project conducted by LIRNEasia and Sarvodaya. Java enabled mobile phones which has a wake up siren came next. The GSM based remote alarm device developed locally by Dialog Telekom, MicroImage and University of Moratuwa followed closely. It has both light and siren.Findings of this project on learning how information-communication technologies and community based training can help in tsunami and other disaster situations had been discussed by community leaders and international experts at a workshop on “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning with a Focus on Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the Sarvodaya Headquarters in Moratuwa recently.
By Rohan Samarajiva The findings of a pilot project on learning how information-communication technologies and community-based training can help in responding to disasters such as tsunamis were discussed by community leaders and international experts at a workshop on “SHARING KNOWLEDGE ON DISASTER WARNING, WITH A FOCUS ON COMMUNITY-BASED LAST–MILE WARNING SYSTEMS” held on March 28th and 29th, 2007 at the Sarvodaya headquarters in Moratuwa. These finding ranged from the difficulties experienced in communicating disaster warnings to villages when mobile GSM and fixed CDMA telecom networks were not functional due to conflict conditions to the importance of not leaving newspapers on top of sensitive electronic equipment which can overheat and shut down as a result. In terms of the five communication technologies that were evaluated across multiple criteria, the addressable satellite radio sets and the java-enabled mobile phones performed the best, with the GSM-based community warning device developed locally by Dialog Telekom, MicroImage and University of Moratuwa following closely. The VSAT based warning system did not perform too well in the tests. The objective was not to declare a winner among the technologies, but to find out how they could be improved to perform reliably in the difficult conditions of Sri […]
How will John Gage’s proposal play out in the telecom eco-system of developing countries? Who will operate them? Will they suffer the same fate as ICTA’s VSAT based connectivity for telecenters, where you can do Internet but cannot call the next village? Can you just drop technology in, without addressing the overall institutional setting? At Davos, the Squabble Resumes on How to Wire the Third World – New York Times Separately at the meeting on Saturday, John Gage, the chief researcher at Sun Microsystems, proposed an industry plan to deploy advanced data networks in developing economies with contributions of engineering staff time of 1 percent.
Presentation by Harsha de Silva, CTO Forum 2004: ICT : Business and Development 20-21 September, Colombo, Sri Lanka The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization’s (CTO) second annual forum was held in Colombo this year, on September 20-21. Subtitled the biggest annual Commonwealth ICT event, participants included director-level delegations from member countries and representatives of its sector members. The aim of the event was to bring together ICT sector stakeholders and strengthen their ability to go on meeting the challenges of accelerating Universal Access, bridging the international, as well as urban-rural digital divides, and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A great deal of emphasis was placed on the increased use of fixed and wireless broadband technologies, such as VSAT to achieve ICT4D objectives. In this context, the Govi Gnana Service, or GGS an innovative ICT solution to agricultural price volatility and resulting agricultural poverty in Sri Lanka was presented by Harsha de Silva of e-development labs.
We selected the Eastern Part of Nepal to implement our policy of making available telephone service on demand, including rural areas. We specified that telcom was crucial to national development, and tried to encourage private investment. We also stipulated that the basic provider (ie the incumbent) must invest 15% in development. We selected 893 areas with minimal phones, 534 with no phones at all. Gurkas come from that area and there was much migration from that area.