Internet access has been highlighted plenty of times by the government as a priority to speed up development and economic growth, but fibre connection company Vumatel is actually doing something about it.

The company has been hard at work laying down fibre internet connections in selected suburbs in and around Johannesburg, and today it announced that it will be providing free 1GB fibre connections to any school it passes.

“Each school will be provided with a dedicated 1 Gigabit per second line and will be able to choose from a variety of internet service providers for free uncapped internet connectivity. The Internet Service Providers currently on board with the project include Cell C, Cool Ideas and Vox Telecoms with others soon to join the initiative,” it said in a media release.

Vumatel has been testing out the connection and performance with Greenside High, Hoërskool Linden and Parkhurst Primary.

“Our children are the future and it is vital that we connect them to the information age. We challenge other broadband providers to follow our lead and work together as the private sector in addressing one of South Africa’s key challenges. The incremental cost for telcos to do this for schools are negligible when compared to the potential and fundamental impact it can have,” said Niel Schoeman, CEO of Vumatel.

As the project moves along the roadways in Vumatel’s fibre neighbourhoods, the company estimates that it will be able to provide as many as 80 schools with fibre connections for free, which will give about 65 000 pupils a leg up in their education.

[Image – CC by 2.0/Bob Goyetche]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.