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All posts tagged "internet"

  • What more can be done to deliver fibre connectivity across South Africa?

    It seems like we hear news of fibre developments every other week, as the likes of MTN, Vodacom, Vumatel and Telkom announce suburbs and projects. There's no denying that many projects take place in affluent suburbs, but even living in a well-off suburb isn't a guarantee of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity. What can be done to ensure that fibre connectivity reaches more areas though? We interviewed Dominic Cull, regulatory advisor for the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), and asked for his thoughts on the matter. This is why fibre isn't available in more suburbs First of all, Cull outlined a host of reasons for fibre connectivity not being available...

  • Get free WiFi access in South Africa by viewing ads first

    WiFi hotspots might be everywhere in South Africa, but actually accessing them is another story entirely. Aside from initiatives like Project Isizwe and the Western Cape Free WiFi Project, hotspot access is generally expensive or requires you to be a customer on a partner network. Now, a new project, dubbed view4mahala, claims to deliver "ad-funded free WiFi" access to South Africans. How does it work? Users are able to browse the internet via these hotspots, but are subjected to ads between page views and upon logging on to the hotspot, view4mahala operations director Sagie Naidu said. "Two full-screen ads come up upon login and lasts between two and...

  • First Vumatel fibre home goes live in Cape Town

    Fibre provider Vumatel has been on a roll in recent months, as it teamed up with Telkom and Standard Bank threw its weight behind the company. Now, the company has marked another milestone with its first home fibre connection in Cape Town going live, being situated in the Tamboerskloof area. "TBK Watch is very excited to be Vumatel's first community to get connected in Cape Town. We have been working together with Vumatel for the past six months to plan and get the community ready for the rollout, and now we are live. The rest of the community can't wait to get connected," said the TBK Watch group,...

  • WhatsApp ‘back up’ in Zimbabwe, regulator issues state warning [update]

    Update #1, Wed 7 July, 8.20pm: According to a report citing the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabweans who share and spread information about the country's protests will be disconnected from the country's mobile networks. "All SIM cards in Zimbabwe are registered in the name of the user. Perpetrators can easily be identified," the body announced late Wednesday following WhatsApp's four-hour outage. "Any person caught in possession of, generating, sharing or passing on abusive, threatening, subversive or offensive telecommunication messages, including WhatsApp or any other social media messages." Read the full report over on Fin24. Original article: Social networking services WhatsApp...

  • Telkom teams up with Vumatel to expand fibre footprint

    In areas where Telkom connectivity is lacking, Vumatel has often stepped in to deliver the goods. Now, the fixed-line incumbent has announced a rather surprising partnership with the upstart service provider. Telkom's Openserve has announced that it would be "leveraging" Vumatel's open-access fibre network to launch products in over 20 new suburbs in Gauteng. Vumatel has made a name for itself by launching so-called fibrehoods, offering connectivity in selected suburbs across Johannesburg and Cape Town. "The fibre industry is highly competitive and we have seen an accelerated rollout of fibre networks across the country. While Openserve holds the lion share of the national fibre footprint --...

  • 5 constructive ways to waste time on the internet

    If I could quantify the hours I've spent browsing superfluous websites on the internet, I'd be father time. But I'm not. All I know is that the internet's a wormhole of information, that may or may not be relevant at the time, but definitely makes for some great conversation starters. And that's exactly why it's advantageous. If you have a spare moment trapped in a boredom bubble -- perhaps Monday is going to the dogs, or you're two hours out from the Friday bell -- the internet can help you out by teaching you a thing or two. With that said, here...

  • Vox Telecom continues ADSL power play with cap increases

    Vox Telecom made tech headlines in South Africa last year with its capped ADSL promotions. The ISP delivered several affordable capped "Fat Pipe" offerings at the time, including 100GB of data for just R164 a month (which has since been bumped to 150GB). Now, in the wake of Telkom's IP Connect discount to service providers (which takes effect as of today), Vox has revealed larger caps for its Fat Pipe packages. So what can you expect for your cash then? The entry-level 75GB/R189 a month option has been bumped up to 100GB, the 100GB/R249 a month option is increased to 150GB, while the top-end 1TB/R1899 a month...

  • Vumatel gets big backing, to spend R3bn on home fibre

    Vumatel is one of the most prominent players in South Africa's fibre internet market. Now, it's received some significant financial muscle courtesy of a deal with Standard Bank. The service provider has announced a deal with the bank which is "likely to be one of the largest debt capital raising-based deals of its kind in the fibre-to-household industry", it said in a statement. The move comes after it launched its first residential fibre network to residents of Parkhurst, Johannesburg in August 2014. "Since its launch less than 18 months ago, Vumatel, as a supplier of high-speed fibre connectivity to homes, has become one of...

  • AP Styleguide strips the ‘internet’ of its proper noun status

    The AP Stylebook -- an influential media style guide that shaped online writing styles the world over -- has announced on Twitter that it will no longer refer to the internet as a proper noun, using a lower case I instead. The change will come into effect when the 2016 version of the Stylebook launches, and also marks a change in the way the world sees the internet. As the internet grows, it becomes a more "decentralised", ubiquitous web of communication and information, Thus referring to it as a proper noun, or a single, defined entity, doesn't quite make sense. Oh, and...

  • This is why the internet really needs green energy

    The physical realities of data are far from popular conceptions of the internet as a vapourless “cloud.” Online services, especially for streaming video content, consume vast amounts of power. Greenpeace has in fact noted that if the internet were a country, its electricity usage would rank sixth globally. We once built steel mills near energy sources, but now that’s where we construct data centres -- the factories of the digital economy. The virtual cloud starts with coal, which provides much-needed electricity as well as the greenhouse gases which greatly contribute to global warming. The consequences of warming world are...

  • Google to launch hundreds of internet-enabled balloons in 2016

    Google's Project Loon never seizes to impress. Though the initiative started testing about two years ago, the US internet giant's moonshot of sending internet-beaming balloons into our stratospheres have just gone up a notch. According to the BBC, the internet giant is planning to launch a string of 300 balloons, enough to create continuous on-the-ground coverage of a section of the world's Southern Hemisphere. Each balloon will cover around 40km in diameter, with speeds of up to 10 megabits a second. The longest a balloon has remained afloat has been 744 days. "We hope next year to build our first continuous ring...

  • Half-a-billion-dollar satellite launches to beam broadband to Australia’s most remote areas

    A rocket carrying a satellite worth an estimated half-a-billion Australian dollars (around US$350-million) has successfully launched from French Guiana today. The aim? To bring high-speed broadband access to around 400 000 homes and businesses in remote areas of Australia. ABC reports that the organisation behind this expensive initiative, the National Broadband Network (NBN), expects to connect 200 000 premises by the second half of next year, including Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands. NBN spokeswoman Frances Kearey told ABC that "It's one of the world's largest communication satellites and is purpose-built to deliver broadband to Australia -- an incredibly vast country". Kearey...

  • Google Chrome unleashes The Great Suspender

    Chrome has introduced an extension that sounds like a film title with Denzel Washington and his definitive walk playing the lead. The Great Suspender is here and it will sort out your problem. The Great Suspender is a lightweight chrome extension to help reduce Chrome's memory footprint for users who like to have more than one tab open at the same time. It replaces the URL, with a simple screen that says "Tab suspended, click to reload” and opens whenever the user is ready to do so. A tab can be restored by clicking anywhere on the page when it...

  • Error 404: Democracy Not Found — what social media tells us about the state of our culture

    At a time in our world when there are more people voting for their government representatives than ever before, it's a discomforting thought that most of us are unhappy with the way our lives are run. To be fair, we are growing up alongside financial crises alongside an overpopulated planet. Still, whether political systems are under more assault due to having so many more eyes on it or whether people are feeling somewhat more entitled, the fact remains that the web -- specifically when we look at social media -- is playing a massive role in how it's being...

  • HTTP is getting its first upgrade since 1999. Here’s what you can expect

    While the web has gone through a lot of changes since it first came into existence in the early 1990s, the fundamental tech behind it hasn't changed since 1999. That's until now with the introduction of a fresh new upgrade to HTTP 2.0 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), spelling faster page loads, more mobile-friendly and more encryption. HTTP is a big deal. It's the application that makes the web what it is -- enabling the transferring of packets of data between the user (your browser) and the server host (the website). Before recently confirming that the second version of HTTP, Mark Notingham --...