Re: [gaia] Connecting the Ocean View community

Jim Forster <jrforster@mac.com> Mon, 01 October 2018 20:17 UTC

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From: Jim Forster <jrforster@mac.com>
In-reply-to: <CAPaG1AmHXsLMNACbguiLxry+EhVrwSRdZv6TfDKezdsdzzba2A@mail.gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2018 22:17:24 +0200
Cc: gaia <gaia@irtf.org>, Jonathan Endersby <jonathan@toomuchwifi.co.za>, Ian B Thomson <ian@toomuchwifi.co.za>
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To: Arjuna Sathiaseelan <arjuna.sathiaseelan@cl.cam.ac.uk>
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Subject: Re: [gaia] Connecting the Ocean View community
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Another initiative in Cape Town is Too Much WiFi (toomuchwifi.co.za <http://toomuchwifi.co.za/>).  They’ve got about 500 Access point deployed in various townships (Joe Slovo, Vygrond, Imizamo Yethu, Dunoon) and are growing rapidly.  It’s founded by Jonathan and Ian, cc’d.  Full disclosure: my company, INI, invested in them last year.

I think this group would not necessarily call it a Community Network, as it’s a commercial entity with a pre-paid WiFi service, but they offer much, much cheaper access (5x-10x) than mobile operators.  Also, an important part of their strategy is that about 30% of the gross revenue stays in the community, in the form of salaries, commissions to agents, and special programs to schools, community centers, Early Childhood Development Centers, etc.  In some cases students with little or no money can ‘Work for WiFi’ and earn hundreds of megabytes of data credits by helping explain the service, etc.  

I was in Vrygrond with the team the other month.  A couple people drove by, saw the Too Much WiFi shirts and stopped and said “What?? Too Much WiFi??  There’s never too much WiFi!”.  So true!  :-)

  — Jim


> On Sep 16, 2018, at 10:40 AM, Arjuna Sathiaseelan <arjuna.sathiaseelan@cl.cam.ac.uk <mailto:arjuna.sathiaseelan@cl.cam.ac.uk>> wrote:
> 
> this will be of interest: Our ongoing work in Capetown using Opencellular and wireless (WiFi and tvws) mesh powered by blockchain for payments and a host of localised services
> https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2018-09-04-connecting-the-ocean-view-community <https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2018-09-04-connecting-the-ocean-view-community>