Last month SA's most historic post office closed down. The Stellenbosch mail coach began operating 212 years ago as the first regular service between that village and Cape Town, and the iconic poskantoor was built in 1935. But it was doomed by a technological revolution that began just 25 years ago. "It illustrates how big the shift was from when the internet started until now," says Dave Meintjies, CEO of communications service provider Connection Telecom, and a pioneer in the local internet industry. "Every letter then was via posted mail; now it's almost all e-mail. "When the first connections arrived, it cost a business between R17,000 and R25,000 a month for a dedicated 64Kbit/s international line. Now we can buy a 1Gbit/sdedicated fibre line from Seacom for R17,000. That's 16,000 times more capacity for the same price." In the mid-1990s, Meintjies was CEO of UUNET SA, one of the first commercial internet service providers in South Africa. In 2003 he founded Connection Telecom ...

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