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    Somali Voice ~ Internet Radio in Somali
    Galkacyo telecom corporation
    AUSAMA Telecom

    Online Service Comes to Somalia
    Tuesday September 28 2:24 PM ET

    Somalia's first local Internet service began operating this week, bringing the World Wide Web to 90 customers throughout the country.
    The Aerolite Somalia Telecommunications Company began operating on Monday, connecting 25 clients in the capital Mogadishu, 10 in the port town of Merca, 80 miles farther south, and 55 in the towns of Hargeisa and Borama in the northern self-declared republic of Somaliland, said company spokesman Ibrahim Abdulkadir Sheikh.

    He said nine additional customers would be connected this week. The installation fee of $120, a monthly membership fee of $30, and per minute usage charge of $0.75 exceeds the pocketbooks of most Somalis.
    ``At such prices, no one can watch a movie or engage in surfing for extensive business or scientific research on the Internet,'' said Sakaria Ali Mohamud, a Mogadishu businessman.

    Fees may drop if, as planned, Aerolite becomes a local Internet provider at the start of next year. It's now only a gateway service, linked to the actual online provider in Norway.
    While Somalia has no central government and warlords rule a country divided into feuding fiefdoms, its thriving business class accounts for eastern Africa's most extensive cellular phone network.
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