The term Butterfly Effect came into the scene of topical physics in the early 50’s. And after publishing a couple of papers, Lorenz made the term even more acceptable in quantum chaos, and probably the most used concept in Time Travel movies. The idea being “one flap of a butterfly’s wings could change the course of weather forever. Mh! Now before we get lost in my hullabaloo of contemporary physics, KDN recently rolled out Butterfly which is probably the boldest move by an IT company in the early days of Kenya’s It revolution era. It is a product that not only gives Kenyans access to affordable, reliable, convenient internet but also creates a platform for us to use, create and promote local content. If Kenya needs anything now in order to become the Bitange Ndemo’s “regional ICT hub” dream, then this is it. The Butterfly is a three in one “thingy”(excuse me for lack of a better word 🙂 ). It is made up of the Butterfly Wi-Fi, Butterfly ADSL and the Butterfly Portal. The goal of the launch and the persistent marketing is KDN’s attempt to “reach 80% of Kenyans with affordable data communication network by the year 2010″. Is that doable? I don’t know. Kenyans have a “facebook mindset” that doesn’t allow them to surf beyond the infamous social network. But I do know that Butterfly has the ability to transform Kenya’s cyberspace. It has a potential energy to start an IT tornado that could swirl the country into one large data center. In 1961, Lorenz was using a numerical computer model to rerun a weather prediction, when, as a shortcut on a number in the sequence, he entered the decimal .506 instead of entering the full .506127 the computer would hold. The result was a completely different weather scenario.He wrote a paper on his findings and titled it: “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas”. Rather long but telling 🙂 The point being that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location.Now that may sound far-fetched, but the introduction of Butterfly in Kenya’s cyberspace has the potential to eventually make it an ICT hub. How? Well, let me break down Butterfly for and you can connect the dots(or bits of data 🙂 ) by yourself. Butterfly is intended to provide broadband connectivity to the internet throughout the country while at the same time providing local content and platform for Kenyans to create and distribute their content. Butterfly can be split into three major parts. 1. Butterfly Freedom Butterfly Freedom is the trade name for the KDN wi-fi service. Wi-fi is a technology that enables wi-fi compatible devices to access the internet cordless. The tech market has a recent upsurge in wi-fi products including phones, laptops and notebooks. Thus KDN has been rushing to create access points called hotspots that allow more and more people get cheap reliable internet. 2. Butterfly ADSL DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line, a means of providing internet access using the same wires as regular telephone line by converging data, video and voice in the same line. This method includes a modem that is installed by KDN at your home or office. While the method sounds redundant in a “wireless world”, it provides internet at a much higher speed than regular modem. 3. Butterfly Portal The Butterfly portal is an online application that is a “shopping mall concept for internet services where users get free access to the internet”. If you are familiar with yahoo then this should be easy to grasp. Even though yahoo started as a directory in 1996 then introduced other bits over the years – like chat in 1997 and mail in 1999- Butterfly portal attepmts to introduce as many components as possible as soon as possible.It attempts to bring together different useful internet apps both by KDN and partner content providers. There are already a number of apps by KDN and more in the offing. – Butterfyl Blog Butterfly blog is a wordpress powered blog provider. If you are a Kenyan blogger whose main target is the locals, then this is where to blog. Forget google’s blogger, facebook notes or even wordpress. This system has a lot of great features including a blog aggregator on the frontpage that reads from all the blogs and shows the latest posts. If you have nice articles, you’ll sure get an audience. Plus, it comes with all the capabilities of the free hosted wordpress. – Izzytalk Izzytalk uses the Voice over Internet Protocal (VOIP) technology to provide affordable, high quality voice calls for Kenyans within the country. At a flat rate you get unlimited talk time to call anywhere on the network and a cheap rate for the rest of the world. They say that the technology cuts phone bills by 80%. Why wait? – Others include Kikasha – media sharing Email – personal email @butterfly.co.ke Yellow pages – business listing directory Autos – Car listing …and so much more… Kenya is still a long way from becoming a technology based economy. But it is moves like these by unconventional, risk taking persons that will put it on the global IT map. As the Butterfly flaps its wings, we wait for the ripples, enhance them and lay back for the great IT tornado to sway us into a better IT powered Kenya.