The problems of the Garden Route region have resulted in a community initiative called Digital Village. It has the objective of providing a next generation carrier class wireless network. This is to serve as a backbone onto which other services can be bolted. This network is regarded as a powerful social and business enabling vehicle. This community network is made possible by a joint public-private partnership model.
The Digital Village community network forms part of the more global objectives of the Garden Route IT Consortium, the Western Cape Government’s Economic Development Programme, and the Department of Education’s Schools of the Future project.
The Digital Village community network has the mission to build a next generation carrier class wireless data network to function as a backbone for the Garden Route community.
This network will cover the Garden Route region from Plettenberg Bay to Riversdal.
The objectives are:
- To provide higher quality broadband internet access than is currently available in many of the areas with this region.
- To provide broadband internet and VOIP telephony in rural and low income regions where internet is not currently available, or where it is only available to a limited extent (for example dialup or GSM access only).
- To connect over 100 needy schools as prioritized by the Department of Education, which currently have no or limited internet access. Each school is provided with free broadband internet access, VOIP access to the Department of Education and where required, free video conferencing between schools within the network.