How the digital divide in SA can be bridged with Pay-as-you-Go fibre - Cobus Venter

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Numerous studies highlight the pivotal role of fibre broadband connections in fostering economic growth in emerging markets. In South Africa, the rollout of fibre has worked well in leafy middle-class suburbs but for 60% of the population that is not a reality. Two companies leading the charge in bringing fibre internet to townships are FiberTime, recently infused with an R39.9 million investment from Finnish development financier Finnfund, and VulaCoin, who is offering digital wallets for micropayments. Providing connectivity at half the price with uncapped internet and speeds up to 100Mbps, their inaugural fibre-to-home project launched in Kayamandi Township near Stellenbosch last year. In an interview with Biznews, Cobus Venter from the University of Stellenbosch’s Bureau for Economic Research who is a consultant for VulaCoin and Fibertime said their model could be rolled out by larger fibre networks, enabling townships to leapfrog straight into the modern digital era. Venter cites a call centre worker's savings of R900 a month in travel expenses and an extra four hours a day with her children as a compelling example of the social development impact. South Africa, he says, is slowly but surely shifting to pay-as-you-go for many other services as well.
20 Nov 2023 1PM English South Africa Investing · Business News

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