Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- South Africa’s SNO Neotel has secured access to the landing station for the SAT3/Safe submarine cable, enabling it to carry international voice and data traffic at competitive prices. Local landing rights to the fibre optic cable were held exclusively by Neotel competitor Telkom until the end of last year. This exclusivity restricted the ability of operators to cut international bandwidth prices.

- Nigeria’s second national operator (SNO) Globacom lit the Enugu-Akwa leg of its national fibre-optic backbone, extending its reach into the south-eastern state of Enugu and completing a circuit with the states of Onitsha and Imo, which lie immediately south of Enugu. These two states were connected last month when stretches of the cable linking the cities of Awka, Onitsha and Owerri were lit.

- In Mauritania, 400 bloggers met last week to set up an union which will promote freedom of speech and draft professional guidelines for bloggers around the country.

- Representatives of Google and the UN refugee agency unveiled a powerful new online mapping programme that provides an up-close and multifaceted view of some of the world's major displacement crises and the humanitarian efforts aimed at helping the victims. www.unhcr.org/googleearth

- Three years after the Mauritius Government launched its first online services, the National Computer Board reckons that a large part of the population remains reluctant to use the online application forms put in place by the administration. The organisation argues that this slow adoption is partly due to the fact that only 24% of the 350,0000 Mauritian household have computers.

- In order to ensure transparency, the Independent Election Commission in Côte d’Ivoire has provided online access to all political parties to the country’s newly rebuilt poll list.

- Newtec, a satellite and communications equipment provider, has announced that the SatElections project assistance initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Commission and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) will be using its satellite triple play system, Sat3Play. The SatElections pilot will be rolled out in the Democratic Republic of Congo in co-operation with the Independent Electoral Committee of the DRC.

- Sky Vision announced that it has signed with Intelsat Ltd a multi-year, multi-transponder contract for capacity on the Intelsat 601 satellite. This contract will provide SkyVision the ability to offer ’end-to-end’ solutions, deploying standard and customized IP service platforms for its customers in Africa.