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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Expert canvasses for T1 backbone

Telecommunications expert and chief manager, International Planning and Development at the Ghana Telecom, Mr. Richard Kojo Gyawu, has canvassed for a T1 backbone for the Economic Community for West African (ECOWAS) sub-region.

Mr. Gyawu, who spoke to Champion Infotel recently said that this would drive down the cost of telecommunications and especially the Internet access.

T1 backbone, also known as Digital Signal (DS1) is a T-carrier signaling scheme devised by Bell Labs. It is a widely used standard in telecommunications to transmit voice and data between devices.

A DS1 circuit is made up of about twenty-four eight-bit channels otherwise known as timeslots and DS0’s, each channel being a 64 kilo bits (kbs DS0 multiplexed pseudo-circuit).

He pointed out that the lack of T1 backbone in the region has continuously inflated the cost of bandwidth and its accessibility, especially in driving Internet access beyond the cities as presently observed.

According to him, when one is on the Internet, and is getting information through surfing, what happens is that every Internet Service Provider in the country has got its own central server and these servers are connected to a bigger network backbone own by British Telecom, AT &T among others.

“And that is where the major problem is because they actually carry the real information. In West Africa we don’t have any of these companies having one of the big servers,” he lamented.

He cited for instance that if an ISP in Ghana can assess Ghana bigger server which has got a bigger pipe “it means that ISP operator does not have only one operator to deal with like Ghana telcom, NITEL and all he has to pay for is the distance between where he is located and that of the server within the same country”.

Noting that usually a very small distance with small amount of money for interconnection would bring the cost of access extremely low.

The current situation, he said, is that if one has to go to the United States (US) where it is linked; ISPs have to go through the SAT 3 and SAT 3 goes up to Portugal from where operators buy another capacity to go to the US, all these have to be added to what the incumbent or telecom has to charge such an operator.

He emphasised that then this brings it to ISP operator who is also seen as a consumer and has to take into consideration the operational cost which includes the one the telco has charged such an operator and the one he got to pay for his server among other things.

“If you look at the cost analysis; there are lots of things causing it and we need to sit down and eliminate all these things to bring the impeding cost of current ISP operators down,” he said.

For him, when this is done, then the ISP operators could review the cost downwards, “that would solve the entire problem”.

1 comment:

Ugo Okafor said...

A T1 one backbone will be good but it might be a better to invest in a Wifi mesh because it would be a more affordable project to fund and some of the infrastructure could be made locally.

Konga