Posted by: John Savageau in indonesia, ict, broadband on
Mar 24, 2010
In the mid-1990s, as an operations manager with Sprint International, I worked in Jakarta to deliver a direct X.25 expansion to PT Indosat from the old SprintNet packet switching network. 15 years ago walking around the streets of Jakarta gave the impression of despair among much of the population, with large groups of unemployed men hanging around street corners. As a relatively well-off foreigner, I drew stares of both wonder and contempt. Internet access was possible through dial-up connections through the X.25 network and a gateway to SprintLink, Sprint's Internet network.
Returning to Jakarta in 2010 is a shock. While there is still a visible dichotomy of wealth vs. low income population, the changes in Jakarta today are stark. Aside from the rapidly rising skyline, bringing back memories of Shanghai in the 1990s, the other most obvious change is the people. Everybody is going someplace or doing something. Nobody hanging around the street corners (at least from the areas of Jakarta I have traveled over the past few days), and high end shopping malls are everywhere.
An Internet Connection on Every Corner
Posted by: John Savageau in ict, Hawaii on
Feb 20, 2010
Try a search engine query on "Hawaii CIO," or "Hawaii Chief Information Officer." You might get a couple corporate links pop up, or possibly the University of Hawaii's CIO link, but the only state agency within the first two pages of links is for the Information and Communications Services Division of the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS). The first impression, once hitting the Hawaii Information and Communications Services Division (ICSD) landing page on the State of Hawaii's website, is the microwave tower graphic.
The Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD) of the Department of Accounting and General Services is the lead agency for information technology in the Executive Branch. It is responsible for comprehensively managing the information processing and telecommunication systems in order to provide services to all agencies of the State of Hawaii. The ICSD plans, coordinates, organizes, directs, and administers services to insure the efficient and effective development of systems.
In fact, the Hawaii CIO, as appointed by the governor in 2004, acts in this capacity as a part time job, as his "day job" is comptroller of the State. In that role, the only true function managed within the ICSD is oversight of the state's main data center.
Posted by: John Savageau in ict on
Sep 28, 2009
Sitting at a local coffee house wondering why the free wireless internet access is slow, it is easy to be indignant. Indignant that the coffee house owner could possibly be so arrogant as to provide poor quality Internet access while I camp out with an hour old latte, updating important Facebook communities with my plans for watching television this evening.
How are we supposed to live like this? Are we supposed to live like we are in a third world country while slurping our specialty coffee?
A third world country like Ghana, Vietnam, or Palestine? If I was living in say, Somalia, I would be one of 1.14% of people within the country that have Internet access. In fact, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in all of Africa there was only 4.7% of the entire population with access to Internet-enabled infrastructure or technology.
Posted by: John Savageau in ramallah, palestine, ict on
Sep 8, 2009
"It's not about the addressable market today, it is about building a future for my 8 year old daughter," says Mohammed A, a Ramallah-based consultant in information and communications technology. "The World Bank can provide a lot of great statistics about the state of telecommunications in Ramallah, but if my girl does not have the same access to eLearning and education as an Israeli girl, she won't have a chance."
Of course there are a lot of politics and cultural issues involved. Ramallah and the entire territory of Palestine are under Israeli administration, which poses many challenges in receiving approvals for telecom services such as wireless, including frequencies not only for internet providers, but also the mobile phone industry. WiMAX is not allowed (in Israel as well) due to military restrictions, and much of the telecom and computer equipment destined for Ramallah is held up on warehouses on the Israel side awaiting customs clearance and release.
In the education system less than 1/3 of university students have adequate access to basic Internet access or computers, and very few primary and high school students have Internet access or eLearning as part of the curriculum. Government officials admit they had some mistakes in prioritizing educational resources, further reinforcing the obvious issues resulting in education system shortfalls.