R8bn boost for rural internet access

first_imgThe two companies have signed an R8-billion (US$1.2-billion) deal that will see the roll-out of fast-paced broadband internet to communities in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces over the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. South African IT firm Mavoni Technologies is collaborating with international satellite company O3b Networks to make internet access possible for rural communities in the country. Chifiwa Makhwedzha from Nkowankowa in Limpopo said the initiative would be a great way to increase productivity in government departments. Mavoni CEO Tinyiko Valoyi said his company wants to focus on providing internet to underprivileged areas of South Africa to help develop them and improve the lives of people living there. Faster internet access Makhwedzha said he is also happy that schools will be getting internet as that should improve the quality of education. He said no contracts have yet been signed with any of the departments and municipalities, but they were looking to get them finalised towards the end of the year. 8 June 2011 First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. Valoyi said his firm is currently talking with various other provincial departments and municipalities which could also benefit from the initiative. “It’s really great news. Most communication is done via the internet these days and people in our areas, especially the young people, need to have good computer skills and a great knowledge of the internet in order to apply for work and be ready for the workplace.” Valoyi added that his company would focus on rolling out internet in schools and government institutions. The first province they would concentrate on would be the Northern Cape where they would provide internet access to an estimated 1 500 schools, which would benefit about 185 000 pupils. “I’m particularly glad about the schools being the first on the list to get connected. Teachers at schools will now be able to get educational material for the subjects they teach through the web. They can then use this material to educate themselves and also to teach the students.” Bandile Thusi, from Nonzwakazi township in the Northern Cape, said he was pleased to hear about plans to bring internet to schools in the province. Mavoni will also partner with the provincial government of Limpopo to bring internet connectivity to more than 500 schools there. These MEO satellites will provide faster internet access and clearer voice communications and video conferencing than standard communication satellites, as they will be four times closer to the earth. “This will help things work faster in some of the state departments here. At times, something that could have been done fairly quickly takes longer because of the communication channels. With internet, it will hopefully be quicker to get assistance at government departments.” “We are ready to advance,” said Nolwazi Zwane from Botleng township in Mpumalanga. “As a community, we are keen for ways to develop ourselves and see progress in our area. Having internet will help us stay connected with what is happening with the world around us, and help educate ourselves further.” According to the agreement, the companies will build a satellite-based global internet backbone with a constellation of eight medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites. ‘Ready to advance’ “We decided to start with the Northern Cape as it is often a neglected area when it comes to connectivity. Limpopo and Mpumalanga are also high priorities. Traditionally, these have been areas where fibre networks have not been able to reach.”last_img read more

Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Non-dilutive Financing Through Revenue Sharing

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… During this week’s One Million by One Million roundtable, we started with a discussion of our hot-off-the-press news: 1M/1M Announces Partnership With Persistent Systems; CrowdEngineering First Beneficiary. This partnership speaks to a core philosophy of the program where we encourage entrepreneurs to get as much customer validation as possible before raising too much money, use other people’s channels if you can get to them, don’t burn too much cash, and all that good fiscal conservative stuff. And, oh by the way, we also really like the idea of the 1M/1M entrepreneurs building valuation and negotiating leverage through these business development efforts, instead of signing off large chunks of their company in form of equity early on.For a more elaborate explanation of the deal, please read my blog post 1M/1M: Alternative Financing For Startups Using A Sales Channel Partner. I have discussed at length why revenue sharing channel deals may serve as perfectly fine alternatives to raising equity (or even complements) because of their non-dilutive nature.Also, an Incubation Radar profile on CrowdEngineering explains more about this very, very cool company doing crowdsourced customer support. Social CRM is becoming quite a trend, and CrowdEngineering really pushes the envelope on the subject. And a few words about Persistent Systems, an outsourced software product development (OPD) company that is navigating its next phase of evolution are also warranted. Persistent is breaking out of the mold of labor arbitrage, and looking at new and exciting business models. My friend Tony Scott did an outstanding interview with Anand Deshpande, their CEO recently in which Anand discussed his vision for where he wants to take the OPD business. LetsGiftItAs for the entrepreneur pitches, first up today was Ryan O’Donnell with LetsGiftIt, a social software application with which multiple people who want to pool a gift for someone can orchestrate the entire process online. My read on the business is that it needs to go to market in a B-to-B mode, expanding the scope of gift registries on major sites like Macy’s and Crate & Barrel. I suspect Ryan is keener on building a consumer Internet play, but my business experience says this would do better as an add-on residing on the sites of other retailers. It certainly will be a better way to bootstrap the company.SOCO GamesThen Jeff Bogensberger pitched SOCO Games, the maker of a Facebook game called Earth 2.0. The game has started getting some traction already, and has a good virality index. Jeff also described a compelling in-game offer-based customer acquisition model that is proving quite effective for him. Jeff has managed to keep his burn rate very low thus far, and a slow and steady crafting of the business is working nicely. The majority of the discussion around this venture was around additional customer acquisition methods.BrainscapeNext Andrew Cohen presented Brainscape, an educational platform using a flash card type concept to learn vocabulary, language, etc. Andrew has about 40,000 users for a GRE test prep vocabulary product, acquired largely through iTunes. He asked questions about what investors are looking for: more free users or fewer paying users? The answer to the question is neither. They are looking for a validated model for each of the following issues: scalable customer acquisition, freemium conversion rate, and a pricing model for the premium product. Note, I said, validated. Not just assumptions. I also advised Andrew to greatly tighten his product and go-to-market strategy. As it stands, it is all over the place.SafarclickUp last was Hicham Jorio discussing Safarclick, an online hotel sourcing data service focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region, and catering to major OTAs like Expedia. Hicham has already brought about 3,000 hotels from the MENA region, but another 30,000 remain to be harnessed. In addition, there are another 30 to 50 OTAs beyond the 30 he already services to recruit. The business is already profitable with $2.9 million in revenue. Clearly, it can go much further, and Hicham is trying to decide whether he grows organically, or raises outside financing. He has attracted attention from a hedge fund interested in investing in the company, and asked what I thought about that option. Well, I didn’t think much of it. I would never take investment in a startup from a hedge fund.You can listen to the recording of today’s roundtable here. Recordings of previous roundtables are all available here. You can register for the next roundtable here.Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond, build $1 trillion in sustainable global GDP, and create 10 million jobs. She is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and strategy consultant who writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is the author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Photo by nosheep sramana mitra Related Posts center_img Tags:#How To#start Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Two Congress leaders among three beaten up on suspicion of being child-lifters in MP

first_imgThe Madhya Pradesh Police have arrested five persons on the charge of thrashing three persons, including two local Congress leaders, on July 26 night on the suspicion of being child-lifters. Armed with lathis, 20 residents of Nawal Singhana village, 35 km from Betul town, blocked a road towards Shahpur, waiting for a vehicle approaching from the Chicholi police station area, said Karthikeyan K., Betul Superintendent of Police. “They mistook its three occupants for child-lifters and started attacking them. But, when they realised they were local leaders, they ran away,” he said. Betul district Congress general secretary Dharmendra Shukla, party leader Dharmu Singh Lanjiwar and tribal leader Lalit Baraskar suffered minor injuries, while their vehicle was damaged.Later, they filed a complaint in the Shahpur police station, on which the police registered a case under sections 147 [Punishment for rioting] and 323 [Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt] of the Indian Penal Code. Five persons are yet to be arrested. The police suspect a viral video of a child-lifter at the Itarsi railway station, 90 km from Betul, to be the trigger. “The video is doing rounds in Betul, Harda and Hoshangabad districts. Although the immediate trigger of the incident is not yet known, it occurred after the video became viral,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. To arrest the growing trend of attacking persons on the suspicion of being child-lifters, the Betul police has begun organising jansamvad programmes with residents of five  villages at a time. “We tell them to use the dial-100 facility in case they are suspicious of anyone and not take the law in their own hands. Now, we have started getting more calls, especially between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m..,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. Responding to a call, a dial-100 vehicle visits the spot to ascertain whether the person in question is a child-lifter or not. “Though it may increasing our workload, it is an effective way to control the situation,”he said. The Shahpur police station received 10-15 calls relating to child-lifters every day, the most in the district, he added.last_img read more

Delhi BJP chief writes to Kejriwal opposing reintroduction of oddeven scheme

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging him to reconsider the move to implement the odd-even scheme again as it would cause problems to the people. This is merely a “gimmick to divert the attention” of Delhiites from core issues as the AAP government has “substantially failed” to deliver and wants to use taxpayers’ money on advertisements for its own publicity, Tiwari alleged in the letter to the Delhi Chief Minister. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “I am writing to you, with great anguish over your government’s decision to introduce odd-even policy in Delhi once again in the month of November. The decision has been taken without a proper thought. This had created so many problems for Delhiites the last time it was done,” he said. Kejriwal on Friday announced implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi from November 4 to 15, saying it will be one of the seven measures against high level of pollution in the city due to crop stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab during the period. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings Tiwari said the AAP government’s decision to stick to the odd-even scheme speaks volumes of its “inability” to come up with any scientific and reasonable measure to fight air pollution. “In the interest of the people of Delhi, I urge you to rethink over this decision of implementing odd-even scheme and kindly spare Delhiites unnecessary hassles they would be subjected to with this move,” Tiwari said in his letter. Tiwari alleged the move was an “insult” to the law abiding citizens who get their vehicles regularly checked for pollution as they will face problems in commuting and dropping their children to schools. The AAP government has targeted private vehicles although there is no scientific study to support that they are the biggest source of air pollution in Delhi, he said. As a matter of fact, the air pollution in Delhi has reduced by 25 per cent with the opening of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways in Delhi, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Tiwari said “The two expressways keep out nearly 60,000 heavy commercial vehicles from Delhi roads, considerably reducing traffic congestion as well as pollution level,” he said. Under the scheme vehicles ply on odd and even dates as per their registration numbers. The scheme was previously introduced in Delhi by the AAP government in January and April 2016. The opinion of experts as well as the people is divided over the efficacy of odd-even formula in combating air pollution. Announcing its implementation, Kejriwal had said studies showed odd-even scheme reduced air pollution level by 10-13 per cent. Critics of the move point to lack of adequate number of public transport buses in the city, and role of dust in bringing down air quality. Tiwari, in his letter, said that instead of bringing new buses to boost public transport, the government was targeting massive publicity campaign in the name of the odd-even scheme. “While its efficacy has always remained doubtful, it gives you another avenue to get publicity and use the taxpayers money towards a torrent of advertisements,” he blamed. He claimed that a robust public transport system in the city needed 20,000 buses, but the AAP government has been able to procure just 25 buses so far despite being in power for over four years. Tiwari demanded that the chief minister declare the amount to be spent on advertisements of odd-even scheme.last_img read more

Vancouver actress Taylor Russell will play Judy Robinson in Netflixs Lost in

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Exciting things are happening for Taylor Russell.The 22-year-old Vancouver actress, who is currently shooting Down a Dark Hall, the Lionsgate adaptation of Lois Duncan’s young adult novel, has been pegged to star as Judy Robinson in Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space.The 10-episode family/sci-fi adventure, based on the 1960s TV series of the same name, will follow the Robinson family as they drift through space. Vancouver actress Molly Parker will play Russell’s mother Maureen Robinson, a role originated by June Lockhart.The Netflix series will begin shooting in Vancouver on Jan. 23. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitterlast_img