Internet Connection Problems…

The WSIS starts in a few days, and Tunisia has been preparing to show how successful it can and will be at hosting such big and important events.

But, unfortunately, big events like this come with a downside for the internet users of Tunisia.

2 years ago when Tunisia hosted the ICANN meetings; A big share of the national bandwidth was allocated to the hotel the meetings were being held at, as well as the hotels the guests were staying at. This at a time when those places weren’t even covered by broadband connections yet.

That left the rest of Tunisia with really bad internet connections. People at home found it impossible to surf the net, and companies who had leased lines or adsl felt like they were connected through a 56K modem.

It’s a shame that with the WSIS this year, the same problem is happening all over again.
For this past week, connecting through dialup has been near to impossible, and the supposedly higher speed connections have become a lot slower.

I know it’s important that we have high speed internet in the Kram Palexpo and in the hotels the guests are staying at, but we need the internet too, and those connections shouldn’t be provided at our expense.

In the end, this highlights one of the big problems poorer countries face, which is high bandwidth prices, limiting how much they can buy, and making them unable to provide wide-spread higher speed connections at good prices for their citizens.
I hope a solution will be found for this in the summit, for it is one of the main reasons behind the digital divide between countries.

[More (in French): Infinity]

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Mohamed Marwen Meddah is a web development director, amateur photographer and web enthusiast from Tunisia, currently living in Canada.

4 thoughts on “Internet Connection Problems…”

  1. As always you raise an excellent point. This issue of increasing bandwidth and internet accesibility in countries like Tunisia is along the same vein as an early post of yours which highlighted the 100 dollar computer project.

    As an economist or student of economics one learns about a concept called perfect information. In economics, a state of perfect information is required for a completely free market to functiont is one of the factors which leads to having prices for goods go to an equilibrium point. In third world and many poorer economies the equilibrium price points cannot be met for a number of reasons, but one big factor is because of lack of the “perfect information”
    To the best of my knowledge the tunisian economy does not even come very close to meeting the definition of a free market. While the US in terms of economics most closely reflects a free market which is reflected by the fact that overall the US has the best prices for consumer goods on the whole in comparison with cost of living indicators etc.. in the world.
    The tunisian people and the Tunisian GDP will benefit greatly when the prices of broadband comes down, thus supplying more information to the people in a fast, cheap and accesible format.

    And there are still many countries that are much farther below that of Tunisia in terms of internet accesibility. I hope like you, that this will be a focus at the WSIS conference this week, and that productive and reasonable goals can be discussed at how to best move the accessibility and affordability of the internet forward.

    And on a side note I wonder how much money was earmarked to increase tunisian bandwidth as a result of the conference. Or was it just a matter of reallocating the usage during the conference?

    Very interesting stuff.

  2. it appears that Tunisia is still having all kinds of problems, and today is October 31, 2006. I try to talk to my husband in Tunisia using the interent, we have dsl, but there are many many days either due to slow dsl, or telephone wire problems that we can not connect. Hopefully something will be done sometime to make better communication available. I live in Ontario Canada

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