Internet News - In Brief


- Western Union payments for Google AdSense have been launched in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda

- O3b Networks has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with Netcom Africa, a leading provider of satellite and wireless broadband solutions to provide low latency, high capacity broadband connectivity to ships and offshore platforms in Nigeria utilizing O3b’s Medium Earth Orbit technology. The bandwidth will be delivered over the city of Lagos, the Niger Delta region as well as the offshore oil rigs that comprise approximately 50 platforms.

- A new digital system has been launched in South Africa which plans to pressurise municipalities that have poor service delivery. The website allows communities to log on and complain directly to municipal officials about potholes, refuse collection, illegal dumping and includes Google map integration. "Mobilitate will follow up these issues with the relevant authorities," says owner Lionel Bisschoff.

- Nigerian WiMAX network operator, Swift Networks has started tests of its WiMAX network and backend systems in Lagos. According to the COO, Chuma Okoye, the tests will involve 500 friendly users from different parts of the city, selected for the volume of their broadband Internet requirement either for business or individual purposes.

- South Africa's Sentech is reported to be planning a second attempt at building a nationwide wireless network after its earlier MyWireless project was closed down last November. Sentech chairman Quraysh Patel told local publication, Techcentral that the company is drawing up a business plan that will probably result in it spending about R2bn rolling out a national network based on WiMAX technology.

- In south Africa, the Gauteng Gambling Board is under fire for asserting companies that aid online gambling, which was recently declared illegal, could face fines of up to R10 million. After the High Court ruled in August that online gambling was illegal, the board issued a statement saying anyone who “facilitates the provision of online gambling”, including Internet service providers (ISPs), faces fines of up to R10 million. However, ISPs are hitting back, arguing they cannot police the Internet without spending millions on new infrastructure, and it's not their job to monitor content in the first place. The court ruling is set to be appealed, although it is not known when the matter will be heard in Bloemfontein.

- SES announced hat it has signed a service agreement with the South African information and communications technology provider SkyeVine (Pty) Ltd. for the delivery of its satellite broadband service in Africa. The agreement is the second for SES’ ASTRA2Connect broadband platform on the African continent. SkyeVine is a joint venture company between Q-KON and Ellies Holding Ltd.