February 4 2011

I mentioned a while back that I was going to blog about Machaworks, after visiting them while I was in Zambia, and then never got round to it. This is why: Blogging from the bush: How ICT-led development is working in rural Zambia.

There’s tons of stuff I ddin’t mention in that piece though – but I’ll get round to it..

February 4 2011 @ 12:36

Hi Adam,

Is the 256Mbps quoted in the Guardian article on Machaworks a mistake?


February 4 2011 @ 12:46

No – they use two different types of connection. In Macha itself, there’s a C-band satellite link that provide 512Mbps down and 256Mbps up, but in the six village projects access is via Ku-band links that can offer 256Mbps down and 128Mbps up. It’s really not broadband…

Elton does most of his work night, apparently, since there’s not so much traffic on the network. I love this tweet from Machaworks’ founder, Gertjam van Stam.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that where mobile internet is available over the cell network in Zambia, it’s limited to a very unreliable GPRS or Edge connection, with 3G only just appearing in Lusaka and some of Copperbelt (afaik) in the last few months. By comparison to what you can get on your phone there, 256Mbps is high speed!

–Edit – of course, you’re right. Mbps is a mistake. It should be kbps!

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