Fibre-to-the-home start-up Vumatel has revealed plans to offer free, uncapped fibre broadband to 80 schools in its coverage areas this year at speeds of 1Gbit/s.
The company has challenged other telecommunications operators to do the same.
“After a successful pilot with three schools, Vumatel will roll out free, uncapped, open-access fibre optic infrastructure to every school it passes during the deployment of its network,” the company said in a statement.
“Each school will be provided with a dedicated 1Gbit/s line and will be able to choose from a variety of Internet service providers for free uncapped Internet connectivity,” it said.
“The ISPs currently on board with the project include Cell C, Cool Ideas and Vox Telecom, with others soon to join the initiative.”
Vumatel piloted the initiative at Greenside High, Hoërskool Linden and Parkhurst Primary.
Already, Hoërskool Linden has used the fibre broadband connection to reduce its reliance on its own servers and move its systems into the cloud.
The school now has plans to increase the reach of connectivity beyond its computer centres and has introduced an e-learning tablet system to the grade 8 class.
Vumatel CEO Niel Schoeman challenged other broadband providers to follow the company’s lead.
“The incremental cost for telcos to do this is negligible when compared to the potential and fundamental impact it can have.”
The company said it has started introducing fibre to additional schools and intends providing free high-speed connectivity to 80 schools this year, reaching 65 000 pupils. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media