Friday 11 September 2020

St Helena in Cyberspace

The remote island of St Helena has recently been opened up to globalist culture in a very sudden and extreme way thanks to its new airport, see background links below. It is not a coincidence that the island's first internet connection was established around the same time that the airport was being planned and built because physical and communication connections tend to go hand in hand. However this connection is very poor by developed Western standards. It consists of a 20 mbps satellite link via a single 25 foot dish antenna which is shared by the entire population of over four thousand people. It is also not cheap, with data packages ranging from 750 Mb at 1 Mbps for £14 a month, to a maximum 21 Gb at 2 Mbps for £164 a month. The average Saint only earns £5500 a year, so prices are way over most people's budgets. The internet service provider is a cartel called Sure South Atlantic and it provides satellite links to all the British Overseas Territories in the region; St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands. There is a campaign being led by a man called Christian von der Ropp to improve that. He represents A Human Right, a non-profit pressure group that is trying to advance communications technology in the Third World. What he hopes will happen is that St Helena will be hooked up to a new oceanic cable that is being laid south eastwards across the South Atlantic Ocean bed from Brazil to South Africa. If this can be done it will make the island's internet connection far faster, more reliable and more affordable. This will help with attracting tourists because visitors will be able to call home and upload photographs etc while on the island. It will aid with education and health. More electronic money will be possible, and I've covered this before in the background link. Saints will be able to get involved with the various internet industries; from games development to finance to media. At the same time there are concerns over Sure South Atlantic that most people living away from St Helena will recognize immediately. What happens when the interests of public welfare and corporate domination collide? Van der Ropp believes Sure is overcharging the Saints, taking advantage of the fact that there are far more of them than on the other islands under their licence. Perhaps they are exploiting St Helena's "limited digital literacy". Regular HPANWO readers will know that I call for a special place in hell for anybody who does that, see:! It is possible Sure are projecting their future profit estimates and thinking that with a better connection on St Helena the high prices will have to drop, or the company may even fall by the wayside entirely because of competition from bigger telecom firms. Therefore it is worrying that the St Helena Government are thinking of renewing Sure's contract. Source:

For the Saints, especially the older ones, this international corporocratic tussle must look strange. It's something that happens all the time in the outside world, indeed I've been caught up in something similar myself, see: We're used to it and we understand it perfectly. We are equipped with the psychological and cultural defences for dealing with it. It's something we've evolved over generations as the European pastoral economy gave way to the industrial revolution and the rise of the state pseudo-capitalist alliance. The residents of St Helena have had to undergo that same education process in the space of barely a decade. Considering the steepness of their learning curve, they have done remarkably well as it is. Sadly, this is a problem I predicted long before the first flight touched down at the new airport. The Saints must be protected as much as possible. So well done to Christian von der Ropp for standing up for the people of St Helena. I hope they can all soon join the rest of the world as equal and respected participants in the internet age.
See here for background:

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