May 11, 2005

WE FOUND JOHN GAULT (via Jason Johnson):

Telecoms thriving in lawless Somalia (Joseph Winter, 5/10/05, BBC News)

Rising from the ruins of the Mogadishu skyline are signs of one of Somalia's few success stories in the anarchy of recent years.

A host of mobile phone masts testifies to the telecommunications revolution which has taken place despite the absence of any functioning national government since 1991.

Three phone companies are engaged in fierce competition for both mobile and landline customers, while new internet cafes are being set up across the city and the entire country.

It takes just three days for a landline to be installed - compared with waiting-lists of many years in neighbouring Kenya, where there is a stable, democratic government.

And once installed, local calls are free for a monthly fee of just $10.

International calls cost 50 US cents a minute, while surfing the web is charged at 50 US cents an hour - "the cheapest rate in Africa" according to the manager of one internet cafe.

But how do you establish a phone company in a country where there is no government?

In some respects, it is actually easier.

There is no need to get a licence and there is no state-run monopoly which prevents new competitors being established

Somalia, the nation libertarianism made.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2005 8:38 PM

Oh, wouldn't you just love to live in Somalia...

Posted by: Vince at May 11, 2005 9:08 PM

Same with mail.

The International Postal Union has almost never been interfered with, not by the Taliban in Afghanistan or anywhere.

It's got nothing to do with libertarianism

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 11, 2005 9:52 PM

I suspect their bill collection procedures are a bit different than ours as well.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 11, 2005 10:10 PM


Posted by: joe shropshire at May 12, 2005 12:40 AM

Yes, there is no "U" in G-A-L-T. Heh.

Posted by: Guy T. at May 12, 2005 9:35 AM

Guy T:

I suspect libertarians are not pleased with your attempt to impose your personal spelling morality on others.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 12, 2005 2:09 PM
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