Mauritius might be famous for its white-sand beaches, but soon the tropical island hopes to be known for something else too... as being the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet coverage. The tiny island, which is off the east coast of Africa, plans to be the first country to become one big "hot spot."
"If there's anyone who can do it, it's us," said Rizwan Rahim, the head of ADB Networks, the company installing the wireless radio network across the 40-mile-long island. "It's a small place, so for a wireless network it's manageable. For us, it's a test. If it's successful here, we can island-hop to [mainland] Africa."
Seeking alternatives for its failing sugar production and textile manufacturing industries, the nation is now looking to the Internet to help it out. Mauritius plans to develop itself into a high-tech computer and telecommunications center - a true Cyber-Island.
"It's the future," said Satyam Gutty, a taxi driver in Port Louis whose daughter just graduated with a university degree in information technology. "It's a big chance for Mauritius."