Camnet Takes On The World
By: Ann Creevey ( September, 2001 Volume 1 No.4 )

Cambodia will take another huge stride forward in the race to compete in cyber space within a few months, when CamNet acquires wireless broadband access. CamNet is the first national Internet Service Provider (ISP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC). Wireless broadband access (WBA) is a point to multipoint service and will allow a capacity from 64Kbps up to eleven megabits per second (11Mbps). "We are Cambodian and we realize the importance of developing IT for Cambodia. When we first started up, we had nothing, so we understand coming a long way in a very short time," said Mr Chakrya Moa, CamNet Network Operations Manager.
CamNet is a true Cambodian success story. In 1996, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications entered into a partnership with Canada's International Development Research Center (IDRC) under its Pan Asia Networking (PAN) program. PAN aims to promote development of communications infrastructure in developing countries. The program donated funds and expertise to develop the Internet in Cambodia. Today CamNet is self- supporting and ambitious to extend beyond its current services, which include email, web access, web hosting and FTP, web design and leased internet access. It has nearly 2,000 users out of the estimated 6,000 in Cambodia today.

"Our role is to be both commercially self-sustaining and to help users in this country who are less able to pay commercial rates, like school government hospitals and both local and international non-government organizations", Mr Chakrya said. "We are the affordable option for all types of businesses, including small and medium businesses, and Cambodia needs these businesses to keep growing, so we serve an important role." "Now if one satellite is down, we have another option. It confirms our position as a reliable, professional ISP customers can count on," he said. Despite the size of CamNet's operations, it operates with just 11 staff, including five network personnel. "Everyone works really hard, but we all believe in our service and our customers seem happy; in fact, new subscribers keep coming aboard," he said.

There is a helpdesk service from 6.30 am until 8 pm every working day, with slightly shorter hours of operation on weekends and holidays. CamNet staff will go to customer premises to troubleshoot for free the first time after connection, and at very minimal rates from that time on. "We keep our services affordable for everyone and we understand that not everyone is an expert. We didn't start off as experts. We had to grow. Everyone has the right to have access to the Internet. That's our belief," Mr Chakrya said. Cybernetics Limited, a subsidiary of Red Dot (Cambodia) Company Limited, is now an agent for CamNet and can help get you and your company on-line at every level from installation to web page design. Cybernetics Limited can be reached on the internet through the Red Dot link on the CamNet web page, or by calling (023) 213 133. ( )