R8bn internet deal for rural SA

South African IT firm Mavoni Technologies is working together with international satellite company O3b Networks to help with making internet access feasible for rural communities in the country.

The two companies already have agreed upon an R8-billion (US$1.2-billion) agreement that will see the roll-out of fast-paced broadband internet to local communities in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces over the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

In accordance with the contract, the companies will develop a satellite-based global internet backbone by using a constellation of eight medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites.

 

These kinds of MEO satellites will offer faster access to the internet along with clearer voice communications and video conferencing in comparison with standard communication satellites, given that they will be four times closer to the earth.

Mavoni CEO Tinyiko Valoyi explained that his company would like to concentrate on delivering internet to underprivileged regions of South Africa that can help develop them and enhance the lives of people living there.

Valoyi added that his company is likely to direct attention to rolling out internet in schools and government institutions. The first province they would focus on will be the Northern Cape where they would offer internet access to an estimated 1 500 schools, which would benefit about 185 000 pupils.

Mavoni will in addition partner with the provincial government of Limpopo to be able to deliver internet connectivity to well over 500 schools there.

 

Mavoni CEO Tinyiko Valoyi

 

“We made a decision to begin with the Northern Cape because it is usually a overlooked area when considering online connectivity. Limpopo and Mpumalanga are likewise high priorities. In the past, these have been locations where fibre networks have not been able to reach.”

Valoyi said his organization is presently meeting up with various other provincial departments and municipalities that may also benefit from the initiative.

He explained no contracts have yet been agreed upon with any of the departments and municipalities, however they were looking to get them finalised towards the end of the year.

We are prepared to advance


Bandile Thusi from Nonzwakazi township located in the Northern Cape pointed out he was thrilled to hear about projects to deliver internet to schools in the province.

“It’s fantastic news. The majority of communication is performed via the internet nowadays and individuals in our areas, particularly the young people, need to have good computer skills in addition to a good knowledge of the internet so that they can submit an application for work and be prepared for the workplace.”

“We are prepared to advance,” said Nolwazi Zwane from Botleng township in Mpumalanga. “As a community, all of us are enthusiastic for ways to develop ourselves and see progress in our area. Obtaining internet will allow us to stay connected with what is occurring with the world around us, and help educate ourselves further.”

Chifiwa Makhwedzha from Nkowankowa in Limpopo explained that the initiative was obviously a fantastic way to boost work productivity in government departments.

“This can certainly help things speed up in some of the state departments here. On occasion, an issue that could have been accomplished promptly will take longer as a result of communication channels. With internet, it will hopefully be quicker to obtain assistance at government departments.”

Makhwedzha said he is additionally delighted that schools will be receiving internet as that should enhance the quality of education.

“I’m particularly delighted about the schools being the first on the list to get connected. Teachers at schools will now be capable of getting educational material for the subjects they teach via the web. They can then utilize this material to educate themselves as well as teach the students.”

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, techcentral.co.za

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