"The weather in Turin is fine today"...

Not some cold-war-era passphrase for spies (although it does sound like it should be followed by something akin to “… but in Berlin, it’s always cold”), but a useful measure of whether we’re going to have internet in Kisiizi.

Our internet accessIt’s amazing that we have internet at all here, I suppose. There’s no landline phone infrastructure in Uganda to speak of. There’s no electricity grid. But I’m able to catch up on news from the BBC website, read my email and update the blog.

And yet, when it doesn’t work, it’s pretty frustrating.

It’s quite common for the internet to ‘drop out’ when it’s raining heavily here. An hour or two with no connection isn’t too much of an issue. But when, last week, the internet stopped working for several hours and the sun was shining, I began to worry that something more serious might be amiss. A new satellite modem would be at least 3 days away in Kampala, and as I mentioned in an earlier article, even the satellite cable is a precious resource.

A quick email to the guys in the UK who supply our internet (using a backup, much slower, internet connection) revealed an answer I wasn’t expecting. Our internet was down because there was “heavy snow in Turin”: it transpires our internet signals are transmitted to a ‘hub’ in Europe.

No internet on the equator because there’s snow in Italy. I suppose it would be more remarkable if there were heavy snow at Kisiizi, but I had some odd looks as I passed the message on to enquiring colleagues here…

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