Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- On 29 July 2008, ANHRI denounced the Sudanese government's decision to block the YouTube website ( http://www.youtube.com ). Since 22 July, Internet users in Sudan have been unable to access the site, instead receiving an error message stating that the site was blocked by the regulator, the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) which blocks a wide range of sites.

- South African internet service provider (ISP) MWeb has started reselling Vodacom products. It now resells basic Vodacom contract packages, as well as some top-up options and handsets. A Mweb spokesperson said, ‘There are many businesses now playing in the converged space, and it made sense for us to do the same thing. We also do VOIP, so the only thing we did not do is mobile voice’. The ISP plans initially to target bundled packages principally at the business market.

- Google has launched its Google News service in English for Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Uganda and Botswana. Adding customised versions of its news service allows users in these countries to search and view news in localised editions and gives publishers in these countries a new opportunity to grow their readership.

- Arvato Middle East Sales and empowerment partner TSS launched Getmo.com, an online entertainment service. They claim it is a first for South Africa – providing download services for both PC and mobile phone users. “There are more than 450,000 broadband subscribers in SA and even though that is a small proportion of the country, it is still a strong consumer base,” says Arvato SA director Jehan Mackay.

- In Uganda, Government-aided schools are to get Internet services, education minister Namirembe Bitamazire has said. Bitamazire said her ministry was seeking funds from the Uganda Communications Commission to provide rural schools with Internet connectivity at a low cost. She added that the institutions would be asked to allow the public to use the Internet at a subsidised fee after school hours.

- South Africa’s ISP, Axxess hopes to transform the WiFi hotspot market by introducing prepaid broadband vouchers that allow consumers to connect to more than 600 hotspots located around the country. The vouchers will also be an alternative payment method to using credit cards at WiFi hotspots.