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Maureen Hilyard (not verified) August 22, 2012

I listened to NNenna’s presentation and found the information about Africa and who owns the internet of great interest. Unfortunately I was unable to see the powerpoints but I was able to identify with the challenges and aim to be asking some of Nnenna’s challenging questions to our ISP. I found Nnenna’s comparison of costs really interesting. They really did demonstrate that the poorer nations, who are already struggling with the costs of electricity and hardware, are the ones who are having to pay huge costs for the minimal opportunity that they get to use the internet, while higher users in more affluent countries are paying next to nothing for the same usage. I can understand Nnenna’s despair when she recounted the names of the companies and countries who are benefitting from Africa’s poverty of access. I would like to thank Nnenna for her response to my questions. Having listened to her presentation about the world cable maps, I will try to access these (did she provide a link?). I will ask our Minister about what research has been done to compare cable vs satellite costs before he makes a major decision that might not only cost our small country millions of dollars initially, but also that the ongoing maintenance costs might still make internet connection too expensive for our tiny population (15000 in total) in the long term as well. There is still a lot to be done in the area of connectivity in the Pacific, and I really appreciate Diplo’s providing such activities as these webinars where I can learn more about how we can make things better for the people of our Pacific nations.

Nnenna (not verified) September 03, 2012

For me, I have seen that many small governments do not/have not made adequate policy analyses of what I may tag the "digital economy". Man companies come in and the government s welcome them on the basis of 'investment'. This,in itself is not bad. What is sad is when key national development issues are left in the hands of these 'investors'. For an Investor, development means profit. But for government, it should be citizen empowerment, sustainable resource management, and raising not just the per capita income but also the Human Development Index

Maureen Hilyard (not verified) September 04, 2012

We have just had the Pacific Forum where heads of all the Pacific Nations have gathered to discuss political issues that affect our region. The topic of the undersea cable and the urgency of a decision (imposed by the supplier who needs to know by the end of the year if countries want to commit to their plan)came up in their discussions. Your comment about the lack of policies relating to the digital economy and how it will impact on the important issues you mention, is absolutely correct. So how will they justify the major investment if there is no planning as to exactly how the country / region will benefit and at what cost to the consumers on small sparsely populated islands in the Pacific Ocean? I aim to put that to our Minister. Many thanks for your response.

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