This week’s UK-Nigeria online skype meeting did not have the usual mix of team members. John sent his apologies in advance as he had a visit from Save the Children to attend to. He also passed on apologies from other members busy with various Fantsuam Foundation duties. However, despite his absence, John emailed his input for the appropriate agenda items.
Our diminished numbers provided the opportunity for Zittnet manager Bala and Chollom, the network Administrator to give a detailed update about Zittnet.
For a quick background to Zittnet (the first rural ICIP provider in Nigeria) please see the excellent article by Louise Berthilson.
Bala’s update began with the good news that, following an interview with the Business Support Manager of Inveneo, Zittnet’s status as an ICIP has been upgraded. Previously listed as an “Installer” they are now a “multi-site installer” .
Not content to rest on their laurels, Bala and his team are already in the process of trying to further upgrade this status to that of “power partner”. However this will require additional interviews and verifications. As and when this is successfully completed, it will make Fantsuam Foundation the first and only ICIP in Africa to be both a “multi-site installer” and a “power partner”.
Amongst others, Zittnet's clients include a small private hospital, three cyber cafes and an office in Madakiya which lies about 15km from Kafanchan. When asked, Bala said the short-term goal for Zitnett was to cover the whole of Kafanchan with wireless internet while, in the long-term, the plan was to extend this to cover southern Kaduna state, a radius of 70km.
Chollom and Bala revealed their plan to ask the College of Nursing (the highest building around!) to host their repeater station so that more people in the town can access their service. This will also allow staff at the nearby General hospital to use wireless services on their laptops.
As Bala said: “We are still going about our mission of trying to connect the community”
Also discussed in detail: The Knowledge Resource Centre.