There was a big fight, a lot of resistance – Dr. Quaynor on when he first introduced internet

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Sun, 12 Feb 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Change, they say, is one of the uncomfortable shifts in the human race and can make people feel they have lost control over their territory.

This was Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor’s initial experience when he first introduced the internet to Ghanaians. According to him, stakeholders did not readily accept the introduction of the new technology for fear of losing either their jobs or revenue.

Internet connectivity was first introduced to Ghana in 1993 by Dr Quaynor but was met with some resistance until August 1995 when Ghana became the next African country to have full internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa.

This was made possible through joint efforts between Network Computer Systems (NCS), Pipex International, The Ministry of Transport and Communication of Ghana, Ghana Telecom, and British Telecom. NCS registered ghana.com domain in 1993.

Speaking with Ernestina Serwaa Asante on BizTech, Dr Quaynor, who has played an important role in the introduction and development of the Internet throughout Africa, explained that prior to the acceptance of internet in Ghana, “There was a big fight because every disruptive technology has people whose status quo would be changed and so there was a lot of resistance. You can imagine the telephone companies did not find that particularly interesting.”

“So we had to go through a certain period of convincing; not only the telco [because there was only one Ghana Telecom] but also to convince the national policy and the regulator which did not exist. What you call NCA today at the time did not exist in 1993. [It] came into being in 1996. So all these discussions culminated in the independent regulator and competing providers.”

Aside from the downside, the scientist noted that there were some who were actually curious and wanted to know how to use the communication facility.

In his words, “It was a situation where there was a lot of excitement, a lot of euphoria, a lot of hope for levelling or balancing certain things which we knew were part of the divide.”

On the evolution of internet in Ghana, Dr Quaynor noted that although the internet is widely used in the country, it has not been efficiently explored notably, when it comes to fair distribution across the various regions.

He lamented how some rural areas are still not benefiting from internet usage as a means of communication and connectivity globally adding that there were over 100 localised providers in the early 1990s but sustainability was quite poor.

“For me, many things have occurred but I’m not sure they are striking at the core of what science and technology are. We have created more avenues for people to use but I’m not sure we have succeeded on the supply side. You know, we don’t grow our food we just eat somebody else’s food and I’m not sure how sustainable that will be…”

He added, “At the time the internet came, there were probably, soon after that, 100 localised spaces. Meaning in the 90s, there were over 100 direct spaces but today, we only see the two, three telcos providing internet connectivity.”

“So to me, we’ve lost something. As a country, we’ve lost something. So when you raise questions about rural areas, I begin to wonder how come those other hundred were not sufficiently empowered to provide services to those rural areas.”

Watch the video below:


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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