[governance] Re: The Internet (as we know it) can never be "private"

McTim dogwallah at gmail.com
Sun Jul 17 12:34:04 EDT 2011

On Sun, Jul 17, 2011 at 7:08 AM, Roland Perry
<roland at internetpolicyagency.com> wrote:
> In message
> <CAJwbTiDaiUhk-h97Yr3n8zcF6_TSH0kSDXJ-gn3H3aJXhu5RRA at mail.gmail.com>, at
> 22:18:25 on Sun, 17 Jul 2011, Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro
> <salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com> writes
>> I would like to link the reason why I asked the questions back to the
>> general thread: if the internet is "public" why is it that some get
>> marginalised.
> Airlines are "public" transport (in the sense that anyone can use them. They
> are even publicly owned in some cases (less so in modern times I agree).
> None of this makes it the same price to fly inside Africa (which I
> understand is also an issue) as to fly inside Europe or the USA.
>>  I do not know much about Kenya except for the little I have read but I
>> will say this, it is easy for you to say that people should stop
>> whinging about high international internet costs.
> People are entitles to complain, but I am also entitled to point out that
> there are good reasons for the difference in costs. It's not a conspiracy by
> the developed world, and indeed much of the developed world had the same
> costs as recently as a decade ago. Rather than sit waiting for someone to
> give you a free lunch, why not try to solve the problem by investing in
> connectivity, just like everyone else had to?

The "Halfway Proposition" by Richard Bell was written a decade ago and
described a very different scenario than the one we have now in

While it is true that in the past, ISPs (and ultimately their
customers had to pay the full cost of the "circuit" (typically
satellite connectivity) to their upstream, this is no longer the case.
 What we have now may be described as the "3/4 Propostion" instead of
the "Halfway Proposition".

Currently, ISPs in East Africa have multiple choice in terms of
submarine capacity providers, but are still paying for the cost of
building those cables via fairly high transit costs.  However, there
ARE now Tier 1 providers who will bring their transit service to the
coast of Africa to meet African ISPs. The problem is that many ISPs
have spent millions on submarine capacity already, so they have excess
capacity and can't take advantage of these new Tier 1 offers.


"A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A
route indicates how we get there."  Jon Postel
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