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Internet access is a basic human right or at least the UN declared it so. This is not misplaced at all. The internet brought an impact to human knowledge and general development on pretty much the same scale as the invention of reading and writing.
The same attention given to the promotion and protection of the right to literacy should be given to internet access.
This belief is what excites me when talking about ZODSAT, a Zimbabwean company that is committed to make internet access inclusive. ZODSAT offers fibre and VSAT solutions at competitive rates (well, competitive within the Zimbabwean landscape).
What I enjoyed the most when chatting with their team was their enthusiasm to reach the market not currently served by other internet access providers. These guys were bold enough to tell me they were more interested in making internet access a reality for rural communities in Zimbabwe. Imagine that?
This could be over ambitious considering that the majority of households in rural areas do not have electricity. But hey, Bill Gates dreamed of a computer in every home when no one else could imagine the usefulness of a computer to everyday living.
Now, tens of billions of dollars later (Bill’s billions of course!) virtually every household on the planet has a computer; the smart phone with far greater processing power than the basic computers available during Gates’ dreaming days.
How is ZODSAT making its own dream a reality? It’s starting with underserved cities and towns. Yes, Harare is part of that group because there are still a lot of businesses and homes that are still waiting for a connection.
ZODSAT is giving prompt delivery at the same pricing levels and internet speed as their competition. For some of these areas fibre is available which is a cheaper option to VSAT.
Besides the underserved urban centres, ZODSAT is focusing on rural and peri urban schools, growth points and business centres that already have electricity. These customers alone should keep them busy for a while before they have to worry about the rest of the country that has no electricity.
The major challenge to accessing internet connection in these places has always been the high cost of VSAT which is really the only option for internet connection in some of these areas.
This is now a bit better with ZODSAT who have VSAT packages starting at $70 per month. That’s quite a bargain for VSAT in Zimbabwe right now and I hope they will innovate ways to reduce this eventually.
Even so the major economic deterrent for farmers and everyone who needs VSAT has not so much been the monthly subscriptions but the initial installation costs. The ZODSAT model allows credit worthy customers to pay for installation over time (up to 12 months) and this is a game changer in this space.
Those lucky enough to be in places where ZODSAT can reach with fibre will have access to packages that start at $30 per month.
If you have not been connected to the internet yet but you have electricity, click here and get ZODSAT. Start enjoying your right to the internet.