My life as a blogger relies on two essentials: electricity & internet. Without these two necessities I would probably be having only a diary with one reader: myself.
When I attended the launch of ProjectLink by Google some weeks back, I was excited to hear how this project would come to transform internet access, speed & affordability in Ghana. Fiber cables running from Accra to Kumasi all 1,000km of it to connect Ghanaians to the world wide web. Finally! Fast internet access in Ghana! Affordable? I am yet to find out.
As a blogger what are my expectations on the delivery of ProjectLink?
Internet access in Ghana is expensive especially if you need it for your business. Currently I am using more than 20GB a month and that’s just me. My work currently involves uploading videos to my YouTube channel, photos to my blog, photos & videos for social media management for clients. All this costs GHC70 on Vodafone’s Broadband service, assuming I don’t run out of data before the end of the month. This amount is now being increased to GHC85 next month. Did the data amount increase with this increment? Na lie! Project Link promises to provide high quality broadband by working with Mobile Network Operators & Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to make internet more affordable through shared infrastructure such as metro fiber. But will the telco’s who are too eager to make unbelievable profits be willing to reduce cost of data to its final consumer? I somehow doubt that. It will be a question I will pose to the panel at the 2nd Ghana Internet Governance Forum coming up this week at Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in IT. This is being held by the Ministry of Communications and Internet Society Ghana Chapter. They should expect a frustrated blogger questions from me.
I am eager for fast internet in Ghana. Internet speed in Ghana is soooooo slowww! Trying to upload native videos to Facebook takes almost 2 days! I have tried uploading a 1 minute video I made to Facebook and it was the most painful upload ever! I woke up at 4 am once just to try again just in case daytime internet traffic was probably what was causing the delay. Same thing. YouTube is worse! I either have to find a café in town with better internet than I do or I will never get any work done. There is just too much frustration being caused by our Telco’s. Most people praise Vodafone for fast internet. I don’t blame them. After all they are only content consumers and not content creators like myself. If you are someone who holds e-meetings, online hangouts or manages online content creation, you will feel the pain of slow uploads in Ghana. We need to start asking ISP providers and Telco’s what their upload speeds are as they increase Internet price packages. We shouldn’t be blinded by the adverts on fast downloads. Project Link is promising fast internet as well so hopefully uploads will be at the speed of 1.7 minutes per 5MB. Lol! Would it ever?
Internet access in Ghana is yet to be everywhere like MTN. Access isn’t even great in the city, yet alone the country. Earlier today, I tried making a Viber call in East Legon and the connection was so poor that the data call kept losing connection more than once. My network signal was on EDGE. Sigh! Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has teamed up with Eutelsat to beam down internet to Sub-Saharan Africa through the satellite company. I might have to look for the strongest signals in the country and move to that area. Pronto! As ProjectLink also promises greater access to the internet through its connection with local internet providers. I am quite hopeful that frustrations which occurs in connecting, data calls cutting and EDGE signals will all cease.
Great initiative by Google to improve on Internet access in Ghana. It will help many software developers and techpreneurs to create more products to solve some social issues in the country. Blogging can become more lucrative to bloggers looking to make blogging a full time career.
I am more than willing to be a guinea pig for the Project Link trial phases. Content creators like myself have to be able to use the service for like 6 months and give a review afterwards. Don’t you think so? Good to see we are on the same page. #ThatsMyOpinion