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South Africa considers launching own internet satellite

Satellite
(Image credit: Unsplash)

A report created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)  commission has been published by the presidency and it highlights the technology South Africa will make use of in light of as part of the 'fourth industrial revolution'. 

A major focus of the report and a current issue plaguing South Africans, is connectivity. Making the internet more accessible to those from previously disadvantaged communities is a major priority. 

To remedy this, the recommendation has been made that a government geostationary telecommunication satellite be launched. The government believes this will solve the issue of connectivity, or lack thereof, in these areas. 

The satellite service would essentially be offered to the whole of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.This includes other countries, such as Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini.

What a satellite would mean

Internet connectivity has long been an issue for South Africans and somewhat inaccessible to the many living in poverty. 

The satellite would essentially be able to bridge the gap. Those in underprivileged communities would have access to information and resources at no cost. 

It would also mean free access to 4IR applications, smart learning, smart health and smart financial services.

The government believe that this would make knowledge that is currently inaccessible more democratised and available to all. This knock-on effect expected is for this gateway to help upskill and expand the abilities of the population.