Picture: 123RF/RAJESH RAJENDRAN NAIR
Picture: 123RF/RAJESH RAJENDRAN NAIR

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, our focus is on internet connectivity in SA.

If SA is going to take advantage of technology to grow its economy, then giving people affordable and widespread connectivity is probably a good place to start.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Janine Rebelo, CEO of Think WiFi, an internet service provider.

The discussion begins with Rebelo giving some background about the project with Google to connect more South Africans to the internet.

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Google announced the launch of Google Station for the Cape Flats recently with a programme to provide fast, free and open Wi-Fi to the area in partnership with Think WiFi. Google Station is now available in more than 100 locations across Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Delft, Elsies River and Philippi.

Rebelo says they have about 125 hot-spots at the moment. Their aim is to connect up to 11-million to the internet in five years through the programme. 

The discussion also looks at the technologies used and the model for choosing which communities to serve.

Rebelo concludes by explaining how disruptive technologies have affected the telecoms industry. With consumer pressure to drive down data prices, among a host of issues, she says the cost structure of the industry is being forced to dramatically change. More broadly, she says technology is likely take over a number of repetitive tasks and workloads, advocating that this is a good time for people to equip themselves with more soft and creative skills, which will help in navigating a digital future.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production