Tech Transfer

Digital divide bridged to Limpopo farmers

A group of farmers in rural South Africa have a new way to stay in touch with their market.

01 August 2005

The phrase “bridging the digital divide” has been tossed around for political gain and status, but never becoming reality for the people on the other side of “the divide”. One of the main reasons for this is that while companies who launch projects that bridge the divide gain status, the process generally uses wireless technology and is therefore expensive. Ask the Sentechs, iBursts and cellular providers who have had to roll out networks to provide coverage for GSM and Internet access. With base stations costing a cool R1 million each, setting up connectivity is expensive.

And with the target communities who are receiving this “bridge” generally in the lower income brackets, formulating a revenue model that is viable for the service provider is a serious challenge.

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