UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
FEWS AND SAFIRE. FEWS and SAFIRE are USAID-supported, semi-private fido mailer networks comprised of approximately 10 and 25 African sites, respectively. While they are configured as Zone 1 point addresses, they could be configured with their own private zone addresses (not Zone 1 or Zone 5). For the time being, they are installed as point networks on the Washington-based Fidonet nodes 1:109/173 (FEWS) and 1:109/183 (SAFIRE).
Since government work does not qualify as hobby or amateur activity, FEWS and SAFIRE message traffic is not permitted on the Fidonet. Hence, Zone 5 as the PRIMARY address was never really as option. Instead, FEWS and SAFIRE conduct private polling (once or twice daily) from Washington to all African sites. All traffic is paid for by the projects at ATT rates, which tend to be 2 to 25 times less expensive than non North American PTT rates.
The advantages of this type of setup are many. Project sites are readily accessible to each other (in Washington and Africa), and the polling schedule assures a turnaround of at most two days. Sites can use their Zone 1 FidoNet access freely (tm) for any non-commercial traffic they have, including daily access to the public fido-internet gateway in net 109. Since CompuServe, America Online, MCIMail and others are now on the internet, messages from Africa with a one-day turn around is not only possible, but very practical.
The aka capabilities of the software allow these sites to take full advantage of expanding Zone 5 amateur FidoNet activities in many countries, in spite of the Zone 1 primary addresses. In Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, local conference and netmail mail opportunities are quite bountiful. FEWS/Harare is already an active point of the MANGO network run by Rob Borland.
The University of Zimbabwe, Harare is operating an Internet node, connected via a dial-up link (2400 bps) to Rhodes University near East London, South Africa. They have about 80 plus users at moment.
Zimbabwe firstname.lastname@example.org Prof. John Shepard email@example.com
Chad 1:109/173.22 FEWS Project; Point Operator: Felix Lee.
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