How i set up a cyber cafe in mauritius part one

The purpose of my visit to Mauritius last week was to set up 

a cyber cafe in the small village of Trou Deau Douce on the 

east coast of the island. It was an interesting job and 

presented a number of challenges which I will identify later. 


I thought it would be interesting to run through this small 

project and how I went about setting it up. 


The Mandate    

The mandate for the cyber cafe came from the owner of the 

existing cafe. The request was straight forward, to create a 

cyber cafe. The location of the cafe would be a small room 

off the existing cafe. It was decided that three computers 

would be used for the project. 


The primary business driver for the cyber cafe was to add an 

additional service to the existing cafe. The cafe, is off the 

main road in the village. As such, it was struggling to attract a 

wide range of customers. It was felt that introducing a cyber 

cafe would attract new customers and therefore a new 

revenue stream. 


The Cyber Cafe Project 

In addition to charging customers for computer access. The 

mandate also required that the computers could be used for 

IT training in the evening. Office services, such as 

photocopying, faxing and printing were additional 




Given the small scale of the project, I felt the mandate was all 

that was required to successfully deliver the project. It would 

serve as both business case and project initiation document.  


With the mandate agreed I quickly ran through the 

organization of the project board. I identified the following: 





















So with the project board in place, I took to organising the 

procurement of the hardware. I purchased an intel celeron 

windows XP box in London, along with a 14inch LCD panel 

monitor. Having decided on specifications and price I then 

preordered two: ASUS Intel Celeron 2.8 GHZ Windows XP 

boxes and two Viewsonic 15 LCD monitors. These were 

ordered locally in Mauritius.


I took the computer and monitor purchased from the UK with 

me. I then arranged for the other computers to be delivered to 

the cyber cafe the day I arrived there. 


Prior to my arrival I recommended that we use Mauritius 

Telecom’s 512k ADSL service as the internet backbone for 

the computers. I gave advance notice of this and the line was 

enabled ready for use when I got there. 


The desks, chairs and other furniture were also in place, ready 

for the arrival of the computers. 


Phase one 


I arrived at the cafe in time for the delivery of the two 

computers. The supplier set up the computers and showed me 

they were in full working order. 


Shortly after this, I then setup the computer purchased in the 

UK. The two computers purchased locally would serve as the 

the computers for customers, the UK computer would be used 

for the administration of the cyber cafe, the latter was located 

on the cyber cafe managers desk. 


Now that all three computers were in full working order – it 

was time to set up the ADSL and networking. 


That morning we purchased a wired ADSL Gateway /router 

from Mauritius Telecom. This was the key component in the 

setup. As  an ADSL modem it provided the internet 

connection to the network. As a router, with four ethernet 

ports, it provided the networking for all the computers. The 

forth ethernet port was used as the gateway to a small, 

wireless FON router I put in. I do not expect the cyber cafe to 

be inundated with customers wanting to connect wirelessly 

with their laptops – but you never know. Besides, it is 

officially the first FON social router in Mauritius! 


I begun by physically connecting the three computers to the 

Gateway/router. I had purchased five ethernet cables on EbaY 

and brought them with me. Each computer was now 

connected via ethernet cabling to the Gateway/router. 


Configuring the ADSL Gateway/router 

Using the managers computer, I begun setting up the ADSL 

Gateway/router, specifically, setting up the ADSL connection.


Gateway/router, specifically, setting up the ADSL connection. 

The router configuration was fairly standard. it was web 

based, using the routers IP address as the entry point in. 


The only complication I had was a ‘mistranslation’ from 

customer support at Mauritian Telecom. The had incorrectly 

told me that one of the letters of the ADSL username was G, 

when actually it was J . A common mistake when translating 

French to English. It was eventually resolved after I got them 

to spell out the username to me again. 


I enabled the ADSL connection and, eureka, internet – on all 

three computers! Well after a small glitch. One of the ASUS 

computers did not want to connect to the network. After 

calling the supplier, it turned out that whilst he was building 

the computer he had connected it to a proxy server in the 

workshop. It was still trying to connect to that proxy server. I 

simply tweaked the network card settings to auto connect – 

and it worked. I then turned on the router’s built in firewall 

and moved on to phase two… 


Stay tuned for Part two – in the next phase I will describe 

the software I put on the machines, how I prepared ghost 

images of the computers and the cyber cafe management 

software I selected…. 

Well what do you think so far? Feel free to comment below.