Light up the digital divide: Wits project aims to provide internet to needy
The university is developing a system it hopes will connect those in poor communities to high-speed internet
Imagine being able to donate some of your data to a school or household in an informal settlement or community nearby.
A two-year project spearheaded by a lecturer at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is attempting to accomplish just that by engineering a low-cost device to connect informal settlements to high-speed internet using fibre connections from households and businesses.
With the view that “access to internet” should be a right for every South African, Dr Mitchell Cox, from the school of electrical and information engineering at the institution, is leading the “Fibre, Before the Fibre” (https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/research-news/2021/2021-11/lighting-up-the-digital-divide-with-fibre-before-the-fibre.html) project, which aims to bridge the internet divide between areas where inequality is rife, such as Johannesburg’s Sandton and Alexandra. ..