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Wireless Networking Government Hardware IT Politics

Mauritius Aims To Be First Wireless Nation 333

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 SQLz ( 564901 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:31PM (#12860311) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, because its their fault thats happening. Maybe they'll fly right off to Zimbabwe just like you are doing now and pick up a gun and fight.
  • by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:33PM (#12860319)
    Its per-capita GDP (the best indicator of the overall "wealth" of the country) is around $13,000 which is similar to Czech Republic or if you're not familiar with Eastern Europe it's about half of UK's per capita GDP.

    I'm sure its IT industry is limited by its size but not because it's "dirt poor" because it's not.

  • Ambitious Maritius (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:37PM (#12860347) Journal
    The African continent is one of those areas that is perpetually in the dark, both literally and figuratively. It appears as a large black mass in the World At Night map, and it has been a long time since it was a source of mankind-advancing knowledge (at least since the Library of Alexander in Egypt was destroyed).

    In addition, its history of being conquered and carved up by Western empires has left it nearly incapable of functioning as a cohesive continent of nationstates. Rather, it languishes in tribal warfare made all the worse by the relatively recent influx of Islam which has torn the northern countries of Chad and Sudan to shreds.

    But separated from the mainland, Maritius is amazing in its ability to remain relatively free of the strife that plagues the rest of the Dark Continent. Catering to foreign tourists who want to get away from the normal tourist hotspots, Maritius has been much more stable and forwardly progressing than its neighbors. It is really no surprise that it would be the first African nation to attempt something as ambitious as this project.

    That it is the first in the world is absolutely amazing.
  • by HexaByte ( 817350 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:38PM (#12860354)
    Is bragging that their "Whole Country" is wireless?

    There are cities that have that much wireless capacity just from their coffee shops! Add in the hotels, and the all-too-prevelant open APs, and you see that that's nothing to brag on.

  • by andhravodu ( 698763 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:39PM (#12860356)
    Ah, the knee jerk reactions start. let's check some facts BTW

    Size of Mauritius : around 1,865 km
    Population : about1.2 Million

    in contrast, size of LA: 1200 square kilometers

    what, you say it's easy to actually network a tiny country. noooo, let's put some spin on it.... oh, BTW, let's put the catch words competition, innovation blah blah. this should get modded insightful
  • by MrDomino ( 799876 ) < minus distro> on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:42PM (#12860368) Homepage

    You're absolutely right.

    In fact, let's drop everything we're doing right now and... and what? Take those warlords out of power? Forcibly? Killing how many? 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. All of the unrest in the world is clearly proportional to the amount of time we spend on things not directly related to it, and if we actively try to stop it, it will recognize our efforts and just be nice and go away.

    So let's just stop all development of technology, any progress at all, and focus all of our efforts singularly on making everybody happy and healthy. Never mind the fact that this hasn't happened yet in all of human history; if we just stop progressing and think really hard about it, I'm sure the silver bullet will fall right out of our stagnant asses.

    Those Mauritian pigs. Progressing on their own rather than getting involved with every little problem in the entire world. How dare they, those rich snobs.

  • That and, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by neurokaotix ( 892464 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:45PM (#12860383)
    it's a hell of a lot cheaper to install wireless access points across an island than it is to lay wiring across it.
  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @11:52PM (#12860421)

    There are cities that have that much wireless capacity just from their coffee shops! Add in the hotels, and the all-too-prevelant open APs, and you see that that's nothing to brag on.

    They also have a tiny tax base. It's impressive in that I don't think we've ever seen a single US city that is 100% wireless. This is a major milestone, regardless of size.
  • You can't apply a holy seal to an electronic document.

    Sure you can. Just hook the Pope up with a PGP key and we'll be set. Holy digital signatures all around.

  • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:07AM (#12860493) Journal
    That has, after all, worked so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, North Korea, Haiti, Panama, Kosovo, Iran, and India.

    As a matter of fact, it has worked in India, and quite well too - since the day they have gotten independence from the British in 1947, at least.

    In a country of 1.2 billion people, majority Hindus, they've a Muslim President, a Sikh Prime Minister and a Catholic Caucasian female ruling party president. In fact, it's worked better than it does for the US, where except for two Presidents, every other one has been a Caucasian Protestant male.

    Not to mention that India has a free market economy which has been growing by leaps and bounds. And it's quite unsettling that you would compare India (which is quite a broad-minded secular democracy with a growing economy) with countries like Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran - you, sir, just proved that you're as ignorant an idiot as the parent poster you were abusing.

  • Oh yes it is.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:15AM (#12860527)
    It means that the entire nation could get its collective ass together and pitch in on a project that benefits everyone. This is an amazing accomplishment.

    America could do the same damned thing, except the collective ass is a lot larger, and the people with the collective asses try to turn it into an empirical thing; okay, who gets what services at what cost.

    Imagine if that entire country went VoIP, hired a cellphone company to make wireless handsets that talk internet protocol in the 802.11x range, and became a completely wireless nation. Help is always a handset away. Nobody is more than a few numbers from everyone else.

    I wish I could move there, but I doubt there's much work for a software developer in a country nobody's heard of until today.
  • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:36AM (#12860606)
    >> It appears as a large black mass in the World At Night map

    Not that Africa hasn't gone through more than its share of troubles, but is it really a bad thing that it appears as a black mass in the World At Night map? What exactly does it prove if the US is a huge fiery glow at night? That we waste energy? It's being picked up by a satellite.

    Just like many countries without landline telephone infrastructures are moving directly to cellular service from nothing at all, perhaps one day African nations will implement efficient directional night lighting as is necessary, and it can be proud to be less wasteful on the World At Night.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @01:13AM (#12860710)
    Compared to the animism and shamanism that was widely practiced on the African continent for thousands upon thousands of years, 1400 years ago is pretty recent.

    But that's hardly the point. It isn't until very recently that Islam and more specifically the institution of Sharia law has been established as the basis for the government. Rather, the governments (in those countries cohesive enough to have governments) have largely remained secular even a majority of citizens claiming Islam as their religion.

    And while it is true that Africa has always been plagued by tribal warfare and genocide (as recent as the Rwandan genocide), the gradual growth and imposition of Islamic Sharia law in the Sudan (for example) has led to religious pogroms against Christians who do not wish to convert to Islam. So rather than tribal and familial warfare, the current situation is one of religious persecution at the hands of a growing Muslim powerbase in Africa.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @02:55AM (#12861104)
    I know you're trying to say that not crappy situation in the world is Mauritius (or the US's) responsibility. But some of those examples you cited actually did get cleaned up by force or political processes (sometimes peacefully).

    Afganistan - Taliban in charge was better?

    North Korea - They attacked their neighbor (South Korea) starting the Korean War. The only reason the insanity is still ongoing is the Peoples Republic of China jumped in on their side. China has done a good job there haven't they?

    Kosovo - Let's let the ethnic cleansing continue. The rest of Europe did so much to stop it prior to Clinton sending in troops.

    Panama - Actually they're reasonably free and doing economically not to badly. Oh yes, the US gave back the canal too. Must have been an off day in American Imperialism.

    India - pretty stable democracy even with a lot of ethnic troubles.
  • by Diag ( 711760 ) on Monday June 20, 2005 @02:57AM (#12861112)
    It proves that the US is a nation that is busy at night, as opposed to Africa, which is not busy at any time.

    Not really. It shows that America has a lot of large urbanised areas with street lighting on all night.
  • by SteamedPenguin ( 693277 ) <> on Monday June 20, 2005 @03:12AM (#12861146)
    Rather, it languishes in tribal warfare made all the worse by the relatively recent influx of Islam which has torn the northern countries of Chad and Sudan to shreds.

    How the hell do you qualify recent? islam came to North Africa oh back in the 8th and 9th centuries. Thats 1200 years.

    Or by 'recent' do you mean you just heard about Chad and Sudan three weeks ago on the news and looked some factois on wikipedia and now are authoritative on North African history and politics?

"Well I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy." -- Ellyn Mustard, about marriage