(via Martin @ cyberbadger)
Well, It seems that two measly fiber optic backbones that are currently providing most of the African continent's bandwidth are about to receive a major boost within a year or two. (hat tip to White African).
A glut of bandwidth for Africa might be a strong statement. It's definitely an unfathomable concept for most bloggers in Madagascar. As Joan points out, just keeping up with the comments on their blogs is a major struggle for new bloggers of the Foko blog club.
However, the imminent arrival of the backbones is bound to change a few things.
Calestous Juma, professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University wrote in this in a recent Science article about the state of connectivity for Africa and its implications:
"The country of Senegal, home of one of Africa's foremost universities, has a total available fiber bandwidth of 1.2 gigabits per second, one-tenth that of Harvard University or the University of Chicago, and that capacity is further shared with four neighboring countries. East Africa is completely unconnected other than by expensive satellite links. Costs are further driven up by national telecommunications companies with monopoly (or at best duopoly) licenses on the sale of bandwidth, who are often content with "high-cost, low-volume" business strategies."
What kind of changes the new bandwidth will bring is still to be determined. In his recent post, Hash explains that the growth of blogging might be detrimental to the absolute value of blogging because of information overload.
Information overload has been discussed potently by Oso. He came to the realization that it is okay to sometimes just observe the evolution of lifestreaming and take information in parsimoniously, a drop here and there.
From my Malagasy blogger's narrow perspective, I think now is the time to try to help shape the evolution of digital information back home. We can let it grow and see the direction it takes or we can help formulate a real conversation.
Basically, we can all talk at the same time about anything and no one really listens to one another; or we can read, ponder and then respond to another blogger's arguments, either on his blog or our blog. I am as guilty as anyone of not taking the time to read and foster a proper conversation.
I am not too sure how to go about contributing to the evolution of our blogosphere towards a more synergistic dynamic, a more effective social change.
I hope that the Barcamp being organized in Antananarivo in October will help structure the future of digital conversation in Madagascar. I hope many will wieigh in and participate. If anything, there will be food and surely some intriguing viewpoints.