VAST Networks, a leading open access Wi-Fi provider, is set to give 1.5 million Gauteng township residents an affordable alternative to access the Internet. Currently in over 2,000 high-density locations in transport hubs, malls, office parks and townships across South Africa, VAST is focused on providing more South Africans with an option for affordable internet access.
“Our partnerships approach continues to be a critical component of expanding our network coverage and delivering quality and speeds that are of the highest standards. We pride ourselves on the fibre-quality internet we are able to provide our Wi-Fi users, especially those in high-density areas,” says Grant Marais, CEO at VAST Networks.
With affordability being a key inhibitor to internet adoption, specific emphasis was placed on underprivileged communities and how Wi-Fi access could boost entrepreneurial activities, support access to education, enhance skills development and drive job creation.
“We are cognisant of the tremendous opportunities for socio-economic empowerment specifically within township communities. Our current footprint includes over 2,000 venues and is growing daily in locations in areas such as Diepsloot, Alexandra and Katlehong with plans to roll out hundreds more by mid-2017,” adds Marais.
Collen Kekana, co-owner of V-Café (home to a VAST hotspot) in Diepsloot said; “My customers are thrilled to have access to the internet and are using the platform for various purposes from job applications to news updates to staying in touch via social media. What always puts a smile on my face is when they realise that their internet speeds are actually faster than those available in some of the more affluent suburbs.”
“We firmly believe that internet access should be a basic human right. The substantial financial benefits of such access is evident with some of the fastest growing and most successful businesses in the world being mobile device manufacturers and founders of social networks. Not only does internet access deliver individual and business value but it also plays a vital role in overall economic growth; stats show that for every 10% of internet penetration, a country’s GDP grows by 1.28%,” concludes Marais.