Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FabFi MD

With no other viable broadband options in town, Fabfi has recently been providing a valuable service to the public hospital. Once every two weeks, doctors at the public hospital participate in video conferences with doctors in Virginia, who have been providing continuing medical education and practical support. This effort was recently covered by WAVY TV in Virginia. Over 40 physicians gathered at the last conference despite a 7:30am start time

While the Fabfi network has been providing the network to support this great collaboration for over four months, it is frustrating to see the newscaster dismiss the dropping of the skype call, saying, "technology in Afghanistan is unreliable." To do so simply validates the acceptance of low standards that is an epidemic in Afghanistan. "TIA" (This is Afghanistan) is not a reasonable excuse for failing to pay attention to quality and detail. Not only is the problem often outside of Afghanistan (say, with skype) but such a fatalist attitude discourages local attempts at doing better. One doesn't get many diamonds by asking for coal.

Technical note: The skype drop-call problem is likely due to traffic congestion at the internet uplink. As the fabfi team does not have access to the border router, which handles traffic from multiple sources other than fabfi, the team is unable to implement the proper Q0S policies to ensure calls are not dropped.