The Other Side of Broadband

Broadband and Broadband Divide (BBD) is here! Download, Download, Download – When will Nigeria start to upload creative digital content into the global IT Knowledge Space? The first …


Chris-UwajeBroadband and Broadband Divide (BBD) is here! Download, Download, Download – When will Nigeria start to upload creative digital content into the global IT Knowledge Space? The first equation for today’s knowledge-sharing lesson is: “Broadband without accelerated indigenous software engine, applications and local content equals = 21st Century Digital Slavery”.

Nations that fail to develop and protect their indigenous electronic-sovereignty knowledge sphere will NOT survive this 21st Century – this much has been confirmed by Stuxnet Cyber Worms Bomb targeted at Iran’s nuclear project (what we – as Informatics students –  knew will happen several decades ago!).

The e-knowledge battle field had been drawn and will be fiercely fought along the cyberspace mines carefully planted in the Cloud! There will be no room for snail speed nations with lame-duck-lay-back attitude. They will not only be left behind – Nay, they will be crushed for ever and throne into the dustbin of history!

Migrating from bit-centric ‘Narrowband’ to Broadband?  Broadband Internet access, aka “broadband”, means different things to different people and indeed to many organizations and nations of the world. To some, it is just another flash in pan of human development era – codename ‘Information Technology Evolution’ (ITE), whereas to other nations, it is a life and death affair bordering on National survivability and the protection of generations yet unborn! Yes, it has become a hyper-critical life-business affair with conscious multi-dimensional seriousness.

Within the ICT Industry and IT Profession, Broadband is simply understood as high data rate connection to the internet. The core issue is about ‘Data transfer rate through a medium’ – usually called ‘Pipe’ (Vision Pipe, Dream Pine, e-Knowledge Pipe, Innovation Pipe) by trenchers.

By comparison, bit-centric narrowband — usually identified by dial -up access using a 56k modem. Dial-up modems which are limited to a bit-rate of less than 56 kbit/s (kilobits per second) and require the dedicated use of a telephone line — whereas broadband does not require a dedicated telephone line and it more than double the Data rate of transfer.

Although various minimum bandwidths have been used in definitions of broadband, ranging up from 64 kbit/s (Kilobit per second) up to 4.0 Mbit/s (Megabit per second) the 2006OECD report typically defines broadband as having download data transfer rates equal to or faster than 256 kbit/s, while the United States (US) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as of 2010, defines “Basic Broadband” as data transmission speeds of at least 4 megabits per second (Mbps), or 4,000,000 bits per second, downstream (from the Internet to the user’s computer) and 1 Mbit/s upstream (from the user’s computer to the Internet). The trend is to raise the threshold of the broadband definition as the marketplace rolls out faster services.

Data rates are defined in terms of maximum download because several common consumer broadband technologies such as ADSL are “asymmetric”—supporting much slower maximum upload data rate than download.

The other side of Broadband therefore, is indeed about the survivability of the Nigerian Nation – midway, before the almighty nature dismisses half of this 21st Century (2050). Broadband is also classified as the opportunity, ability and capability to engage the historical momentum of global information system and content transformation processes.

It is also the challenge to effectively manage the attendant potential high risk embedded in the infinitive (?) digital life cycle! Currently, our nation is at the edge of a monumental risk to loose her entire being – character, identity, signature, Art and culture and traditional life – as we swim along the torrential digital current, and waves, infested by Stuxnet worms of digital globalization – without at least a home grown swimming trunk or supporting infrastructure for disaster recovery.

The above danger is very clear from the graphic illustration of the statistical table of global Broadband Internet user country below: Nigeria is NOT yet on the global Broadband map!

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, where I currently serve as President is deeply  concerned and worried at the state of indigenous software engineering, development and patronage in Nigeria. The sector is still in the wilderness – where it was throne into by one-eyed anti-knowledge vultures of our time. But recover we can and must. No retreat, No surrender, until we innovatively engage, master, control and strategically sustain our e-Knowledge resources that rightly belongs to us.

The policy flipside if the propagation of the other real side is, broadband for what? Indeed, broadband for what? To receive and continuously consume more than 5,000 channels content from Cable TV produced by other nations? Or to continuously aid and abet massive capital flight through the leaking conduit of payment for foreign software applications and services that sometimes fail and never matured, dead on arrival or better still, never arrived this shores?  .

Oh, now I remember, perhaps its, meant for the preparation and diffusion of indigenous zero-content e-Books and e-Distant Learning solutions to fuel our appetite for conspicuous consumption and prepare us to sleep and sometimes wake up half in a state of comma to say, I “did not see, did not hear and did not speak” (when it matters most) lying on our digital slavery bed?.

Now is he time to regain lost grounds and lost-time in IT knowledge incubation, innovation, development and creativity and build massive capacity of Code warriors. So that Nigeria’s future will be better secured, protected and owned by her people, as we march along the global thorny corridors of e-everything. One thing is crystal clear and sure: Even as they lead us to the cloud (cloud computing) – Nigeria will be found sitting at the global table of Inter-Cloud!

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