Specialist Wi-Fi Hotspot company PolkaSpots has enabled rural African Co-operative Internet Service Provider LinkNet to realise their dream of rolling out telecommunications, technical support and training throughout the villages of Macha and Mukinge, bringing the 21st century to villagers in Zambia in a sunstainable manner. It does so by providing telecommunications carrier grade access and accounting application services to LinkNet.
With the introduction of the Internet in rural Africa, the potential for changing people’s lives in that part of the world is enormous.
- Quality education can now be extended to more students.
- Pupils boarding at school are now able to keep in contact with their parents.
- Teachers can check that their salaries are in the bank before they make a round trip to the nearest town, 70 miles away.
- Chiefs can now contact local villages via email and spend the time they’ve saved assisting others.
The following stories illustrate just how far-reaching these changes already are:
Local farmer Fred Mweetwa used the Internet to teach himself how to grow sunflower seeds and produce sunflower oil. He now has a flourishing business employing 10 people.
8-year-old Merel van Stam sits in front of her computer and music keyboard and waits for her music teacher’s instructions. More than 8,000 miles away in Lakeville, Minnesota Kristin Shoemaker boots up her computer and webcam and plugs in her keyboard. She uses video services to upload daily lessons. Ms. Shoemaker teaches Merel how to play basic piano chords and scales with the same clarity as if she were sitting next to her. They can even play the piano at the same time!
LinkNet and PolkaSpots aim to continue rolling out this technology across the region in order to benefit as many as possible.
Closer to home, PolkaSpots is working to broaden access to the Net across the UK and Europe. Alongside their successful pre-paid service, they have just launched a new low cost, fully managed, free WiFi package designed for small businesses.
Started in 2005, PolkaSpots Limited is a small, privately owned Wireless Internet Service Provider based in West London. They provide businesses in the UK with fully managed Wi-Fi Hotspot solutions allowing customers to get online wirelessly at a very low cost. They also provide third party companies around Europe and rural Africa with a fully-hosted, white label billing and authentication system that enables them to roll out their own Hotspot Network with low capital outlay.