SA brings it home!

Monday, October 22. 2007

ZOMG it was nerve wracking, but they did it, SA managed to thump the English. It was a really tight game and could have gone either way at times, but I don't want to take anything away from our boys who played a really good game. You can't begin to describe what the atmosphere is like here. Everyone is walking around with massive grins on their faces, its like the whole of the country "got lucky" saturday night. And to see pictures of our president hoisted on the shoulders of some of the biggest men in SA, holding the Web Ellis cup was just awesome and I imagine made just about every single South African felt warm and fuzzy inside. One might think it bizarre but I think winning has done a lot for SA morale, much like the win did back in '96. Then it brought South Africans together after the end of Apartheid, now I think its bringing South Africa together in a time marred by violence and crime and a feeling of an uncertain political future.

I am absolutely chuffed that we managed to "moer 'em" and I think that the SA team, couches and management should be extremely proud of themselves. And to Jake White who has taken a lot of flack over the years, let it stand that his 4 year plan worked.

GO BOKKE GO!

Illegal Wireless ISPs

Monday, November 13. 2006

Every now and then, not really that often, but it's happened a few times that people have come to speak to me about wireless networks. I suppose its bound to happen, having done my MSc in the area. Generally it is because they desire to either become/get involved/extend services to become a WISP. I always give a detailed explanation about how different wireless technologies work and which ones are good for which situations and I always point out that they should leave it all alone because WISPs are illegal unless you are licensed to provide such services, which are only iBurst, Sentech, Telkom, Neotel and the cellular people. And everyone always reckons I am wrong, I don't know the law (happy to let me know about the technologies, just not that laws governing their use apparently), etc. But I am not wrong, no-one is allowed to provide wireless networking services in the 2.4GHz spectrum and VANs are not licensed to self-provide networks. Maybe they will be when the ECA licenses are implemented, but as yet they have not been converted and so their terms, conditions and regulatory dos and don'ts haven't been determined yet. At this time the only way that an ISP can be involved in wireless network services is by working with local governments and being covered by their PTN... most ISP out there probably aren't.

For some articles on the legalities of WISPs (which also brought this rant on) see:

UPDATE: WISPs to form WAPA

Cape Town-based wireless Internet service providers (ISPs) have a new sense of urgency to form their own industry body. This comes after a number of them received letters from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA). A letter was sent to eight wireless ISPs by the telecommunications regulator two weeks ago, asking for licence status, such as value-added network services, after complaints had been received about interference within the much used 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz spectrums.

More on SAT-3

Wednesday, February 8. 2006
ICASA ENQUIRY INTO TELKOM'S SAT-3 MONOPOLY AWAITS GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

schools in the news

Monday, January 16. 2006

Government commits to no-fee schools in 2006 - not sure about this being a good idea, especially as they make more and more government schools section 21 companies! If the school fees are free then how would those schools generate any kind of money? Free schools cannot be section 21's.

Becta reviews UK schools for Microsoft 'lock-in' - review of the use of M$ in UK schools. This has been in the news before, with BECTA saying things like M$ is expensive and schools should be going the open source route.

Thesis

Saturday, January 14. 2006

Its all over.... well pretty much. On Friday the 13th of January 2006 at 12:40pm I handed in a 220 page dissertation for the degree of Master of Science. Woot! I just want to say thank you to all the people who helped me get into the masters programme and all those who helped and stood by me during it. :-)

Now I pray that it will do really really well, otherwise I think I will be the bleakest person ever. So now I am on holiday and am going on Monday to London for 2 weeks to visit Claudia. Will be back before Feb for work. Its all very exciting :-)

The tome

Thursday, January 5. 2006

Well my thesis is nearing completion, thank goodness! And all I have left to do is the final chapter - conclusion - and the appendices. There might also be some style things and grammer or redundancy corrections. I have sent off a copy of the first 7 chapters (only missing 8 the conclusion) to both my supervisors so that they can read it in order. And then I am asking David's mom, an english teacher, if she won't also read it and check for grammer and redundancy, etc.

Currently the 7 chapters, plus contents, abstract, acknowledgements, list of figures, list of tables, references and appendix A comes to 189 pages. So I imagine its going to be like 200 pages when all the information is in there. Hectic hey?

Anyway, I better get to work on that conclusion!

The draft ADSL regulations

Thursday, December 15. 2005
Broaband: New rules offend

MTN to build its own Fibre network

Wednesday, December 14. 2005

In this sunday's Sunday Times - the 11th of December - there was the following advert on page 3 of the Business Times portion of the paper:

"Invitation to pre-qualify for MTN Broadband Optical Fibre network Project

In support of its objective of providing world-class service to its subscribers, MTN seeks to provide its own broadband optical fibre network and therefore invites interested and capable parties to pre-qualify for consideration in tendering for a turnkey project to deploy a broadband optical fibre network in South Africa.

Project Definition: The aim of the project is to provide national interconnect between MTN's main switching centres in all regions."

It goes on to list Scope of work, pre-qualification criteria etc... How cool is that! Yay, its about time they took that step! Go MTN! Imagine how our MTN rates can decrease when they aren't having to pay Telkom's high charges. Shot to the Mack-Daddy for pointing it out to us.

More SNO and ISPA goes to the Competition commission

Wednesday, December 14. 2005

Yet another article on the licencing of the SNO - big news in a country that has been dominated by regulation and no telecoms competition. There are many customers who are complaining that the SNO have not answered questions regarding their plans and future developments, etc. But I think that the customers shouldn't be so hasty to complain about this, if I were them I would also not to have Telkom, the competition, reading about their plans in the newspaper. I'd opt for some surprise tactics myself. Give the guys a chance, lets see what they can do before we start judging and complaining already.

In other news, the ISPA is taking Telkom to the Competition Commission! Yay, go the ISPA. Its rediculous that ISPs get a lesser deal from Telkom wholesale than what TelkomInternet get. Seriously rediculous. Its unfair and anti-competitive, as plain as the nose on Dominic's face ( ;-) ). So I hope that they win and the competition commission folk make Telkom sell the same products all round!

UPDATE: On the ISPA's case against Telkom with the Competition Commission, Internet groups tackle Telkom.

Telkom and SNO articles

Tuesday, December 13. 2005

Icasa licences SNO, unbundling of loop delayed - apparently this is because current legislation says that the SNO would not gain access to the local loop for 2 years after its licencing... is this the same legislation that is suppose to be replaced by the ECA? Why not get over it, the ECA is to be signed in at the beginning of next year at which point the old telecoms act is worth nothing.

Defecting from Telkom - to the SNO

ADSL game up for Telkom - more on the ICASA ADSL draft legislation

SNO 'off to a slow start' and SNO with no name to get going next year - SNO business plans now that it has been licenced.

More on the SNO and its licencing

Monday, December 12. 2005

Here is another article on the licencing of the SNO, in which it points out just how late the SNO is, in fact according to the Telecoms act of '96 the SNO was to be licenced in May of 2002 and its duopoly with Telkom was to end in May of 2005, with the possibility of a third national operator being licenced during the course of 2005 (after May). So we are basically 3 years and 6 months behind where we were suppose to be. Way to go DoC - who are apparently failing on other commitments that they undertook during one of their local colloquims.

Then the Telkom released a statement in which it stated once again that it welcomes competition... hmm, but do they welcome LLU, ISP self-provision (via any means necessary) and other strategic steps that would ensure real(tm) competition?

And with all this shananigans it appears African broadband is still managing to forge on... the rest of Africa is probably not holding onto regulation quite as strongly as we are?

UPDATE: SNO gets its licence at last

$100 laptops

Monday, December 12. 2005
Apparently the people at Intel think that the $100 laptop is not going to cut it and that people will be disappointed with it... Sounds to me like they are sore because its not a project in which they are involved or they are worried more people might want to buy it rather than a notebook with an Intel processor inside. I think they have missed the point that this is meant for the poor people in the world who without this would have nothing. I don't really see it being marketed to business people. Must people always be thinking about their bottom line? Can't they realise what a difference this might make to people all over the world and more specifically people in Africa, especially the children.

Mobile WiMAX now formally ratified

Friday, December 9. 2005

Mobile WiMax spec becomes a standard

The IEEE this week formally ratified the mobile version of the WiMax wireless broadband system as a standard.

Telkom, customer centric?

Thursday, December 8. 2005

In this latest article, from Business Day, the journalist looks some more at negative public opinion of Telkom and how Telkom is responding, or not, to this public opinion. Its an interesting article and seems to highlight that Telkom appear to not understand at all why the public are outraged. The article is called, Telkom taken by surprise again.

A friend of mine, Dave, made an interesting comment regarding the statements made by the new Telkom Ceo, about how Telkom is taking on a customer centric approach to business... He pointed out that the implication of statements like that are that Telkom has never had a customer centric approach to business! I wonder if they are going to be sending their people on some courses in order to learn how to run a customer centric business as it would appear that they have never done so in the past.

ICASA, ADSL and the SNO

Tuesday, December 6. 2005

In this article, ICASA releases draft regulations, the bottom of the article ends with:

If these regulations take effect and is accepted in its current form by the relevant role players without litigation we should see mass uptake of broadband and the increased penetration needed to stimulate the local IT industry and the economy in general.

This seems like a silly thing to say to me. I mean even if it were to go through its not to say that these services would be cheap. I am not sure if ICASA can force Telkom to sell this cheaply and if they are Telkom could very possibly just revoke its ADSL services altogether. They have already threatened to do that, so what's to stop them?

One could argue that the SNO is coming soon, but the SNO won't have last mile access immediately from what I understand. I believe Telkom's access to the Local Loop only ends in 2007. In addition there are more issues surrounding the SNO licencing, with a new person getting in on the suing of the SNO and DoC action.

Then on a different note it looks more and more like the "independance" of ICASA is in the balance, with the NCOP voting for the Minister of the DoC to appoint ICASA councillors. sigh Although none of this has stopped them from shutting down illegal Wisps.