Faculty use of a cybercafe for Internet access.

Author:Ugah, Akobundu Dike
Position:Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike - Report
 
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Introduction

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture was established in 1994 and has courses and programs in agriculture, other sciences, and management. The university has seven colleges and two schools (postgraduate studies and general studies). The university also has a continuing education centre, which runs part-time diploma, degree, and postgraduate programmes. It draws faculty and students from all over the country and beyond. Using laboratories, research farms, libraries, and the Internet, faculty and students engage in research in frontline areas, with national and international collaboration. The profile of the university is as shown in table 1.

Table 1: Profile of University Library, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Year Established 1994 Library Collection Monographs - 18,088 volumes Academic Journal Titles 100 (excluding e-journals) Other periodicals (eg Newspapers, news bulletins, etc) 674 No of monographs/off prints many, mainly donated ICT Facilities Online subscriptions AGORA, TEEAL, EBSCO-HOST Functional Computers - 10 Functional Printer - 3 TEEAL CD-ROMs - 460 World Development Sources CD-ROMs 10 International Agric research Library CD-ROMs 16 CD-ROMs in other subjects...107 Internet Connections Points 7 Library Staff Professionals/academic Librarians 7 Para-Professionals 9 Administrative/Technical Staff 6 Junior Staff 24 Total 46 User Population Students: Pre-Degree 1,000 Undergraduates 5,000 Postgraduate 900 Part-time 1,800 Total 8,700 Staff: Academic 224 Non-Academic 278 Junior 601 Total 1,103 Opening Hours Monday - Friday 8.00am - 10.00pm Saturday 9.00am - 1.00pm Sunday/Public Holidays Closed Vacations: Monday-Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm Saturday Closed Internet Services at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike

MOUANet, a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sponsored project, is a cybercafe that provides Internet services on campus. The CBN sponsored the construction of the building, equipment, furniture, and computers. It was established to provide Internet services to the university community and users from neighboring communities. The cybercafe became operational and accessible in June 2005. Services include e-mail, Internet browsing, website design, bill processing, training, consultancy, and other similar services.

The clientele is students, staff, and other member of the university community, which include staff spouses, and their children, wards, and other dependents. Users also come from neighboring communities, which include the Umudike campus of the Abia State University, and National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike among others.

The cybercafe system has 70 computers. Thirty are located at the cybercafe, while the remaining 40 are offices in colleges and departments, including the university library, which at present has 10 computers, with plans to provide at least 30 more, all linked to the cybercafe for remote access. In addition, the university acquired and distributed over 356 desktop and laptop computers and printers to staff at a subsidized rate and 24 months installment payment deductible from staff salaries each month.

The Internet service provider is Dilat Communications, in partnership with Sharon Technologies, all located in Israel. The Internet speed is 256 uplink by 128 downlink, with data traveling at 128*128 kilobyte per second (kbps). The Internet solutions in use are dial-up, radio wave, and Very small Aperture Terminal (VSAT). The radio in use is the RG 346 Intersky Gateway model, which decodes transmissions from the hub station in Israel. While the radio was built by Sharon Technologies; the Internet service is being provided by Dilat, hence the partnership. The bandwidth is the bustable type, which means it can be increased, enlarged, and/or upgraded depending on use...

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