View Thread > Development and the Internet > Architecture, Question 2 > Kenya experience
Are you persuaded that interconnection is a serious problem in developing countries? Where would you place the development/establishment of IXPs in the context of other measures that are capable of bridging the access divide? Given what you know about how the Internet works, and the players involved, what do you think should be done to improve Internet connectivity in developing countries? What sort of initiatives would you support and who would you expect to undertake them? Why? Do you think your answers are tied to your responses to the difficult queries posed in Discussion Question 1?
Yes, I'm persuaded that interconnection is a serious issue. I've experienced it first hand in Kenya.
The political implications are the biggest barriers from what I can see, so there has to be a solution that addresses lost nationalized telecom revenues as part of the solution. In other words, this has both a political and technical approach and one without the other is probably not going to work. So who could/should lead the political side of the discussions?
Yes, my answers are tied to question #1. Because again we have to look at the assumptions about the value of access, and add on top of that, the control of access.
Nancy, I'm interested in your Kenya experience and what you see as a potential way to address the political and financial concerns. While I agree that these are perhaps the biggest barriers, it seems that there need to be individuals in business and industry who are willing to take the high ground an lead by a commitment to the issue and not just economic or political motivations.
Totally agree. Business culture is much needed.
Nancy, it look like we both want a democratically accountable world which generates win-win solutions through negotiation. Unfortunately the politics which protected vested interests such as nationalised telcoms will not be able to indefinitely withstand pressure from the WTO to open the markets to competition by the global players. In Sub-Saharan Africa for example the large South African mobile phone networks which have access to capital in the world markets are colonising at a phenomenal rate. It looks like global economics has overtaken local political processes.
In the late 80's early 90's the social activists favorite saying was 'Think Globally, Act Locally". I suspect that as the world economies continue to merge, that saying will become more vivid.
The politics of national identity, and nation-states is and will be threatened by the merging of global economies. I have read that the creation of the EURO, and the EU was most often fought against because of the apparant loss of soveriegnty, not producing national coins result in.
I suspect, that global mergers of telecoms, banks, insurance, and food companies will confuse what are 'national' and 'global' interests. And will alter the political landscape.