Many apparent technical problems have socio-economic explanations.\n\nThe US telephone monopolist AT&T was broken up decades ago.\nThe SouthAfrican Telkom monopoly was broken in this decade by\nNeotel -\- said to be financed by Indian capital/money.\n\nWith its fixed-wireless technology, mostly for speech, Neotel took a lead\nin laying the fiber-optic network. Given the relatively unsophisticated\ncustomer base, most Neotel end-users didn't use their internet facilities.\n[Africans are BIG talkers and small readers].\n\nAs would be expected, the default email interface, supplied by Neotel is\nMicro$loth web-based and wastes much time and connection costs; which is\nwhat Neotel would want. With some effort, linux users could access Neotel's\nmail-server directly - and much faster. Now after a year, their mail server\nis out-of-order, giving <wrong password errors>. And live enquiries to their\n<help desk> is futile.\n\nIs this perhaps the explanation?\nWith the increased crime & general degeneration causing white-flight from\nS. Africa, there's a shortage of people who can run a mailserver.\nAnd it's more profitable for Neotel to have their clients use eg. gmail\nand thus use 10 times the online time and data costs.\n\nHave you analysed the absurd dialog for http-based gmail ?!\nAre gmail servers located in the local/small countries for faster access?\n\nWDYS?