Data Control & Systems

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Data Control and Systems was a company formed by Rob Nursten in Zimbabwe. The company set out to provide Internet access to the whole nation from 1994 onwards. Its domain name was Eventually it changed names to Internet Unlimited[1] and was then bought out by Econet Wireless[2] and named Ecoweb Internet. During the period of the company being named Internet Unlimited, the domain name was As of 2005, the company provides internet access to over 50,000 Zimbabweans and many international tourists through lower level internet cafes and client computers.

The company Data Control & Systems was the first internet service provider in Zimbabwe.[3] They provided a technological first in Southern Africa, being the Sister company of UUnet Internet Africa born in South Africa. The main directors of the company were Clint Nursten and his father, Rob Nursten. The Network Administration was handled by Clint Sim who was fatally injured in a car accident in 2004[4] and Scott Nursten who was also responsible for the security systems at both the host and network levels. Scott also provided web design and various programming applications for the commercial side of the company. He then went on to start s2s Ltd, a major provider of security and networking consultancy in the United Kingdom with his brother Dale Nursten.[3]

The ISP was based upon the Red Hat Linux 5 operating system which was the fastest at that time. Later on it was upgraded to Red Hat Linux 6 and a radius server was implemented. Most of the Dial-in lines came in via Livingstone Portmaster modems and the Commercial links were accessed through License-free 2.4 GHz wireless WaveLAN.

The Technical Support desk was manned by up to 4 technicians who answered and assisted the dial-in users with many of their problems and training issues. Since Zimbabwe had never before seen internet access locally, many people did not know what computers were or how they could be implemented for their businesses. The technical support team; Sheldon, Heath, Adam and Zimbabwe's All Africa Games gold medalist Tae Kwondo fighter, Fanuel Kwande, had to deal with this infusion of knowledge to the general populace. According to Linked-In profiles, Fanuel may now be a Director of the company Fanuel Kwande

Ownership History[edit]

The original name was UUNet Internet Africa before becoming Data Control & Systems. Data Control & Systems changed name to Internet Unlimited when Clint Nursten took over the position of Managing Director from Rob Nursten. After a few months a deal with Econet Wireless (owned by Strive Masyiwa) was struck and Internet Unlimited was sold to Econet Wireless. Econet decided to re-brand the company as Ecoweb.


  1. ^ Russell Southwood (14 March 2000). "Internet in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda: An Update". IICD. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Africa: Econet Wireless acquires 60% stake in Data Control". Zimbabwe Independent. 20 August 1999. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Scott Nursten (11 November 2009). "Scott Nursten: What I wish I'd known". Growth Business. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Clint Sim". Exim. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 29 June 2013.