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Wayne Abroue – South Africa

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Wayne Denis Abroue.  I was born in Capetown 1963. I qualified in aeronautic radio/radar in 1985. I’ve been married 22 years and have one son 19yrs currently studying Civil Engineering.  I’ve lived in Kranshoek, 15km out of Plettenberg bay, for the last 20 yrs. Kranshoek is a Griqua community.   I am very much into community upliftment programmes, and my goal is to transfer my many technical years of experience to the young generation.

Where are you located and where are you building your Village Telco?

I am located in a small (pop 4000) settlement, on the southern Cape coastline.  The Village Telco extends throughout the entire village of +/- 10 km2

Is there currently mobile or landline telephone infrastructure there?

Yes,but  no ADSL service and mobile broadband costs are prohibitive for a
struggling community with high unemployment.

Wayne Abroue and family

If so, what makes WiFi wireless voice and data networking such an appealing alternative?

Mainly costas opposed to 3G, and the ability to share off services from the mainstream sector to accommodate the smaller lesser lucrative communities,which mainstream tend to bypass. While providing a self sustaining , self provisioning last mile infrastructure. It is planned by govt some time in the future to supply downlinks to these rural communities, which will leave them up to their own devices for last mile, and this is where VT completes the circle.

How big is your network currently?

Currently 30 nodes in service, with 30 more to be provisioned.

How big do you plan to make it?

The plan is to blanket cover the entire township, while developing a working model, to be used as a template for many other meshes. This is where I want to be in a few years time, assisting start ups nationally and  worldwide.

Who are the biggest users of your network? Young or old? Women or men? Is it principally voice or data or both?

By biggest users, referring to time spend online. I would say the results are amazingly enough fairly mixed. I have young people, middle aged, even some older people, there is a definite sway towards middle age though. These are mainly people doing research, to control their own destinies,through business idea’s etc. The older generation really enjoy the instant voice communication, and prefer this to IM’s as opposed to the youth.

Is yours a commercial operation? A non-profit? Cooperative?

Kransmesh is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO). This is mainly due to distribution licence red tape, although VT could be a viable commercial venture as well with the introduction of startup capital.

What is the single biggest thing that would help you grow?

Capital purchases for sure, to operate a viable service, a step further has to be made to have the required server equipment in place. A close second would of course be the actual upstream supply of bandwidth, which invariably is controlled by big business and see smaller providers as competition and limit supply and assistance accordingly.

Some of the beneficiaries of Wayne's network

Some of the beneficiaries of Wayne’s network

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