Wednesday, February 28, 2007

community networks, broadband ratings

Last meeting was held at Steers - opp Jeevanjee Gardens on 27 February 2007

Techies lamented at the lack of cheap broadband availability. Current options include (not rated):

- popote - 3500 shs per month but damn slow (dialup)
- GPRS - 3500 shs per month unlimited package from Wananchi
- GPRS packages from safaricom and celtel
- Jamii Telkom offers 128k shared service for about 12k shs. (128k throughput achieved)
- 128k service from ISPs typically at slightly below 20k shs.
- eDSL - new offering from EdgeNet - including their new eTV streaming service. 5k shs or so.
- Net@Home shared internet for 5k shs.
- iBurst at 8k shs (128k throughput achieved)
- Butterfly at about 2500 shs ... but poor coverage areas.

Josiah - post your review ... ;)

The idea of building out estate/community networks was raised ...
Techies in various estates can get a 128k link into the apartment/estate ... cable it themselves cheaply, and share a 128k internet link. The techie living within the estate would provide 24/7 support to users with their computer issues.
Setup costs would be shared amongst 10 users ... so not more than 5k per user. Most likely a lot less. Monthly charges would come to about 2k per user.
Techie would setup a local "server" for mail, caching, voip, file-services and more ... All these local servers could be connected together eg a larger asterisk network.

This idea would work well if organized ...
With a large enough base, ISPs could be convinced to provide a bigger pipe at night - say bursting to 1mb

Also noted that this is the year for consumer broadband - a lot more offerings expected from all providers.

Also discussed was how to approach existing users of legacy PBXes and provide an asterisk solution. Kiania - help ?

- meeting schedule was preferred fixed on tuesdays. same format
- next meeting will be Tuesday, march 6 ... will be continuing with Asterisk setup/configuration. Wananchi Online training room.
- need more volunteers !! for organizing meetings, lectures, maintaining the blog etc
- BarCamp Nairobi - 31 march at Uni of Nairobi


The Alpha Quadrant said...

Have not got round to getting all the necessary data for my review ;)

You could include Telkom ADSL Service at:
32/128k (Not sure about throughput)

Tarrifs (all using prepaid cards):
90hrs @ 5604
Unlimited @ 9188

Setup Costs 3274 (excl VAT)
ADSL Modem 8500 (excl VAT)

I'm sure u can get that modem cheaper elsewhere though

Steve said...

HI guys,

You have some really interesting & cool stuff going on here.

A question: do the term of service for ISPs allow you to share bandwidth? Most contracts I have seen stipulate that there be only one end user and that the service be used only at a single household.

- Steve

Riyaz said...

steve - good point. It depends.

if you're getting a 128k dedicated link it's no different than a corporate office getting the same and sharing it for their desktops.

Of course, if you buy the residential version of the connection - it would already be shared most likely, and limited to a single user.

ISPs - they just don't get it :) Which is why techies need to think up solutions.

lmwangi said...

If we get past a critical WLAN density, we can use AODV
to create a mesh then buy bandwith in bulk and share it out across the subscribers or you can do crazy stuff like Asterisk, torrents, Video Streaming, Icecasting, blogging, DNS etc...

Asterisk would really rock if this mesh would have a geographical radius of ~10Kms. Anyone in that radius, can call for free etc.... (Universities??)

And then maybe we can use WIMAX to backhaul separate meshes and convince google to put a google appliance......

It would rock!!

All it takes is 2.5*10^3Kshs/house

Sean Moroney said...

We are holding the African VoIP Forum in Nairobi over 26-28 July and the African Satellite & Wireless Broadband Conference over 23-25 October. I would welcome suggestions from you guys on the front line regarding the key topics that you would like covered in these; what local experts would be good speakers; and what international speakers or topics you would like to have at either ot both event. Thanks. Sean Moroney, AITEC Africa

mwenda said...

Hi pple. Really cool blog you have going here. Anyway I am on popote the unlimited internet package where you get "115Kbps" which in actual fact is like 1.15kbps so I really dont have to tell u just how much it sucks!!!

Anyway I had a run in with Iburst yesterday and I must say I was really impressed by the speeds.....but then again considering my "1.15kbps" background I could be wrong. Plse guys could anyone of you give a candid review about Iburst? This would really be appreciated. Ok let me try see if this comment will be published....did I forget to add that the 1.15kbps is not even guaranteed? :)