VPUU - in partnership with Bundlequest (Pty) Ltd.
VPUU (Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading NPC) brings opportunities to disadvantaged areas by investing in world class infrastructure.
We are consulting on- and currently supporting the first phase build of shared network infrastructure, created with the purpose to empower all ISPs, WISPs and Community Networks in the area to bring world class uncapped internet speed to within the affordability range of everyone living and working in these communities.
Zenzeleni Networks Mankosi Co-op Ltd.
We were invited by a rural community in an area where there was no power and very limited water infrastructure, to help them establish a world class broadband network.
After 8 visits we had helped this rural community become an ISP with more than 500Mbps fiber in a nearby urban center, financed by the recurring revenues from 12 business customers across 5 communities, with more than 5000 community members using excess capacity via Wi-Fi faster than 100Mbps. This made seamless video streaming a reality for the first time, and enabled the real game changer for tele-medicine and remote support and training: seamless video calling.
This followed in in the wake of many years of research into rural telecommunications use in this area by the University of the Western Cape, and the work of many researchers and activists into gender bias and community ownership.
The tensions between commercial, community and research groups was explored - and tested - in depth, and it has been a most valuable learning experience.
The publicity generated by the fact that a rural community could connect at higher speeds than many urban communities has since inspired the establishment of many similar projects.
In the media
"Internet Access in Africa - Are mesh networks the future?" - BBC Africa
The rural community that built a network - WAPA
“Deutsche Welle Profiles Community Networks Around the World” - Internet Society
“Rethinking Affordable Access” - manypossibilities.net
“World in Progress: Stories that matter from around the world” - DW
“Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2018” - ManyPossibilities
"Community Networks Key to Connecting Africa, says Internet Society" - CNBC Africa
“Community networks important for ensuring an internet for all” - SABC News
“Coupés du monde connecté, ces citoyens ont créé leur propre réseau téléphonique” - Outthere
“South Africa becomes the first country in the region to support community networks” - APC News
“Zenzeleni mesh networking in the Transkei” - Wizzy
“AlterMundi visita Zenzeleni en Sudáfrica” - Altermundi Blog
“Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2017” - ManyPossibilities
Wish Networks (Pty) Ltd.
In order to obtain connectivity in a time when it was only within economic reach of less than 1% of the country (2003) our founder set out to see how expensive lines could be shared.
After failed attempts at starting several Wireless User Groups (WUGs), a Wireless ISP (WISP) was established, and grown to cover over 200 buildings, growing purely from generated revenues, selling services that consistently undercut the market by more than 80%
As of 2019, Wish Networks was the most profitable part of a the biggest Wireless ISP conglomerate in South Africa. This is not something we're proud of, as this is a result of the exploitation of the trust that we built up with our customers, but did not yet have the experience needed to hold on to and protect.
A painful and humbling lesson was losing most of our founding stake and we try to help others avoid the same fate.
To add insult to injury, organic ratings of Wish Networks on the internet has now plummeted to some of the worst online, where our hard work and ownership used to ensure that consistently received reviews of 4-5 stars.