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Mauritius Aims To Be First Wireless Nation 333

Posted by Zonk
from the coast-to-coast dept.
hattan writes "This tropical island off the east coast of Africa is best-known for its white-sand beaches, its designer clothing outlets and its spicy curries. But tiny Mauritius is about to stake a new claim to fame. By year's end, or soon afterward, it is expected to become the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet." From the article: "An undersea broadband fiber-optic cable, completed three years ago, gives the island fast and reliable phone and Internet links with the rest of Africa and with Europe, India and Malaysia. Many of the country's 1.2 million people--a mix of French, Indian, Chinese and African descendants--are bilingual or trilingual, speaking French, English and either Chinese or Hindi. The country is democratic, peaceful and stable."
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Mauritius Aims To Be First Wireless Nation

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  • by CyricZ (887944) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:35PM (#12860328)
    Remember, the Vatican is a very historic place. There is monumentery there that cannot be disturbed by the placing of wireless transponders.

    Besides, such systems would have very little use in the Vatican. Canon law states that all documentation from the Vatican must be in written form, on paper, and stamped with the holy seal of whichever bishop, priest, archbishop, cardinal, Pope, etc., is responsible for the document. You can't apply a holy seal to an electronic document.
  • Moving soon? Anyone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CRepetski (824321) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:41PM (#12860364)
    I wanna live there! If that's their method of convincing people to move, it worked. Seriously though - just add 10 or 20 bucks to your taxes and you're good to go! Awesome!
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:42PM (#12860366)
    What exactly is your point, my good man? Are you suggesting that it would be impossible to convert the entire United States to wireless communication within a day? Of course it would be! That goes without saying.

    But by starting small, at the township and county level, then progress could have been made. But such progress was inhibited by the government, due to lobbying from the large telecoms.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:25AM (#12860561)
    Sealand is not a country; not a single UN member recognizes it, and despite what some quack claims on his ISP homepage, it just plain isn't. It is a small island that the British decided it wasn't worth it to "reclaim" by force.

    If they invaded to kill, they'd slaughter a bunch of idiots. If they invaded "nicely", a couple of British soliders would most likely be killed. Either way, a potenial PR disaster.

    Honestly, the UK just doesn't give a shit about the island- not enough to drop a bomb on the place and blow it to smithereens, or anything else. They could have cut the island off long ago and starved everyone out, but even that wasn't worth it.

  • by pomo monster (873962) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:30AM (#12860578)
    Erm, India's democracy is democratic all right, but that's about it. The central government is notorious for fucking up everything it touches, and corruption is rife throughout state and local governments. About the only thing this particular democracy has gotten right in the past two decades is to open the economy to the outside world, which, as you say, has contributed to growth. But even in terms of economic growth India's been beaten by East Asia's tigers, particularly China, a party dictatorship. So unless you value diversity for diversity's sake, I don't see how you can say that India's government works better than the U.S.--and that's hardly a glowing appraisal to begin with.
  • by fbform (723771) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:36AM (#12860608)
    Are you suggesting we should go in there and somehow instill democracy?
    That has, after all, worked so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, North Korea, Haiti, Panama, Kosovo, Iran, and India.

    Sir, I don't know what you smoke, but I think it's safe to say that you've smoked it all. When was the US ever involved in the administration of India?

  • Cancer (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:41AM (#12860629)
    Don't people ever think about the risk of cancer due to exposure of radiowaves? In the latest decades we have started to expose our bodies to many new sources of radiowaves. A study that I participated in showed a connection between the number of Radio Towers and the number of Skin Cancer in the region. Several other studies have shown a similar connection between high frequency radiowaves (microwaves) as in this case. Who is responsible if we get cancer? Should we blindly accept new technologies?

  • by burts (893432) on Monday June 20, 2005 @02:13AM (#12860956)
    Let me tell you a little bit about Mauritius. My background: I am mauritian and currently working towards a master's degree in EE in South Africa and i have /. for breakfast... The internet revolution has started here, in a sense. The price of a decent ADSL(128/64) line has dropped drastically during the last few years (abt USD 29 / month). It used to be *much* higher. Now they are introducing wireless internet soon. Things like video-on-demand, internet tv are all being planned here. These are all very nice but educating the public should also be happening hand in hand - and this area of things sucks big time. I would also like to mention that people have no idea as to what is F/OSS! There are very few businesses that use Linux here. People don't even know about FreeBSD (and i suddenly feel alone). I don't need to mention what is the favourite pirated OS in this place. i am sure you can all guess. But what is really annoying is the politics that exists in the government system. It really makes you think twice before trying to get a job here. Meritocracy is not very prevalent. i could go on and on... Curiously it only seems to happen when the General Elections are close!
  • by An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) on Monday June 20, 2005 @03:10AM (#12861141)
    A way better indicator is (as another poster mentioned) is the Human Development Index [undp.org]. Per-capita GDP doesn't take into account things like typical standard of living, wealth inequity, etc.

    Another good indicator is the Quality of Life Index [economist.com].

    If you want a simple, raw economic number, MEDIAN income rather than mean income is one of the better indicators of the wealth of a nation's people. Slightly better is median income scaled to purchasing power. Unfortunately I don't have tables for these. =(

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