UCT CS Research Document Archive

The Shortcomings of Globalised Internet Technology in Southern Africa

Johnson, David L. and Gertjan Van Stam (2016) The Shortcomings of Globalised Internet Technology in Southern Africa. In Proceedings 8th EAI International Conference on e‐Infrastructure and e‐Services for Developing Countries (AFRICOMM 2016), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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Network protocols and applications have mostly been devel- oped in and for a Western context and usually have an embedded set of assumptions about network performance and availability. As a result web-browsing, cloud-based services, live voice and video over IP, desktop applications and software updates often fail or perform poorly in (rural) areas of Southern Africa. This paper uncovers some of the reasons for this poor performance such as Windows TCP failing to reach capacity in high-delay networks, long DNS delays or time-outs and applications such as Office365 assuming constant connectivity to function, and de- scribes them, set in the Southern African contexts. We address the issue of colonisation in ICT context and show the extend of such in the area of networking. These observations provide strong motivation for Africa- based engineering research to ensure that future network protocols and applications are context-sensitive, adaptive and truly global.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:J Computer Applications: J.0 GENERAL
G Mathematics of Computing: G.0 GENERAL
C Computer Systems Organization: C.2 COMPUTER-COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
ID Code:1145
Deposited By:Lamola, M.M
Deposited On:17 Febuary 2017