2 minute read

As you may have noticed, or perhaps not, my website looks different now. There is a lot that Wordpress, my prior blog manager, can do. But it couldn’t do what I needed for it to do, namely be accessible for the bandwidth I have available.

I’ve seen the rates routed through my phone go up to 20kbps but 5kps is typical. For reference, dial-up modems work at 56kbps. Wordpress just isn’t useful at these rates. Instead, I’ve moved to Hugo, a static site generator, which I can use to compile a small website and upload directly to the server.

Internet is just not a big in Burkina yet.

For about a week last month, workers at the national phone service, which supports one of three cell networks in Burkina, went on a strike. Cell service was still functioning, but clients could no longer buy credit to add to their phone. (I don’t know anyone who has a monthly cell subscription plan, or even if there are any on offer.) After several days, the internet stopped functioning.

My already slow speeds were dramatically reduced, making the connection essentially non-functional. The PC Bureau, which has recently installed a fiber connection had no internet. I imagine that less than 2% of my village cared - I estimate that less than 30 people in village have a smartphone and use it for internet.

After several days, the strike was lifted and the internet returned.

Imagine the entire U.S. without internet for a week because 300 people wanted a pay raise.

EDIT (12\04): I got another phone. Now I have “4G”. It works a lot better. It’s limited to: in the neighbourhood at least one meter above the ground but not inside my house; and nowhere else because why would the major town nearby have better signal I mean that’s just silly.

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