I have been a rather frustrated librarian/information professional over the last few days. I attended a workshop at the Balme Library (University of Ghana, Legon) and although there was wifi, and the signal was good, I wasn’t able to access the internet. OK, I admit that this is probably due to some configuration on my own laptop, but on the other hand I did notice that others participants also had problems accessing the web.
And for a workshop on web-based software, that was a definite issue.
I had sort of anticipated that this could be an issue so on Day 1 I brought my Airtel/Zain modem. On the local radio stations here in Accra, one is constantly hearing that Airtel now has an ultra high-speed 3.75G network. Well, as a user, I have yet to see it. Certainly at Balme Library – on one of the upper floors – I didn’t have a good enough signal to even get onto my home page! Even in the area where I live, the signal is so-so: good in the mornings, especially on Sundays, and not terribly useful most of the rest of the time.
So on Day 2 of the workshop I decided to bring my MTN modem – which seems to work better, though I have to admit that I wasn’t totally optimistic, since I wasn’t sure whether the signal would be good enough. Why? Despite MTN’s ads that their 3G coverage is high, it certainly hadn’t been registering as such on my smartphone – at least while in the Balme Library! Grrr…
Have I been able to do any browsing during this three day workshop? Well, the answer is no, not really. Again, no 3G and even the 2G allowed only minimal browsing on my phone, and almost none on my laptop. Sigh.
I end on a plea to the telecom operators: deliver what you promise! We consumers are not stupid!