When Will Digital Village Be Established?
Digital Village is already operational. The current network extends from Hoekwil through to Mossel Bay.
It is a proper broadband network with appropriate ICASA licensing. The network is backed by world class server infrastructure and high capacity managing systems. The support is provided by a team of internationally experienced IT specialists that have been long term pioneers of wireless and internet technology. The members also have long term experience in business management and possess valuable skills that include electronics, software development, management and engineering.
The expansion of the Digital Village is to run in phases.
- The first phase involved establishing an initial network covering the greater George region. This network is currently operational. It is tested, stable and lives up to all expectations.
- The second phase involves connecting the first ten community schools. This is to provide a showcase project designed to attract further donor funding which is required for the next phase of the rollout.
- The third phase involves connecting a total of 100 needy schools are per a list provided by the Department of Education. These are rural- or low-income region schools which currently have either no telephone services, no internet services, or must rely on very poor connectivity solutions such as dialup solutions.
This is to provide the second showcase model, which is required for obtaining international donor funding. With international funding, the network is to be upgraded to a meshed network in key sectors, allowing for the connection of 1,000 schools across the Garden Route and the coverage of the greatest part of the rural regions.
Meshed network technology is expensive, but this is what makes the long term sustainability of a network such as this one possible. It enables the network to be self-replicating and self-healing, meaning that if one section of the network should fail due to lightning activity, for instance, the rest of the network will automatically configure a workaround path so that no services are lost.