* RDC Dr Aristo Gubare of Uganda’s Bundibugyo district recently called for new investors in the local telecommunications business:"We are grateful to MTN for getting us connected. But the network is still limited to some areas and not stable." Gubare said UTL services in the district collapsed years ago. A new road now connects the district to Kampala making it a day’s journey and Gubare wants to see telecoms improved to match this new improvement.

* According to Ewan Sutherland, executive director of the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG) South Africa’s attempts at managing the transition between the Telkom monopoly and an open market are almost certainly doomed to failure and will do nothing to make broadband more widely available or affordable.In fact, South Africa’s version of asynchronous digital subscriber line technology (ADSL), the great white hope for consumer broadband, is a parody of what it could be, says."ADSL as offered in South Africa is a product clearly designed not to be purchased," he said. "It is a truly Third World offer," said Sutherland, who met regulators and spoke at the University of the Witwatersrand last week.

He said the reason for and solution to the lack of broadband Internet access in that country were clear. Telkom is the problem and ending the state of protectionism it operates in is the answer. "The slow speed (of ADSL in SA) is a marketing decision," he says. "If you are close enough to an exchange to get ADSL, you can get 12Mbps."

* According to This Day, NITEL subscribers in Llorin district, Kwara State are not happy:"We are getting tired of them and that’s why we have been eagerly waiting for the second national carrier, Globacom". According to Engr. Justina Apede, her bills arrives wrong:"When you complain, they ask you to pay before they’ll listen to you and once you pay that’s all." Ilorin-based lawyer, Deji Gbadeyan, had reason to complain about NITEL’s billing system.

In February 2002, no one used phone in my office and they brought a bill of N8,750 and after a protracted argument, which fell on deaf ears, we paid only for the same error to be repeated in December 2002, when consumers had to pay N11,000 for a directory in which my office particulars were omitted."

NITEL public relations officer for the tertiary, Segun Omolade, said "on the billing, it is the hand written amended bills that should be paid. That’s the most recent bills and that’s what we’ll collect. On faults, it is not true that consumers have to wait for weeks and they have no reason to bribe our staff to work on their faults."