Rural South Africa to get free wi-fi

first_img26 May 2015Rural Eastern Cape is about to get high speed internet service though a dedicated wi-fi connection.Project Isizwe is well known for rolling out the City of Tshwane’s massive wi-fi programme which is part of the city’s vision for universal internet access. But taking wi-fi to the Ingwe Technical Vocational Education and Training College on their Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses in a pilot project was not without its critics.“Everyone says ‘It’s easy in Tshwane, but you can’t do it in a rural area’, but here we are,” said Alan Knott-Craig junior, the brains behind Project Isizwe.The pilot would focus on the Department of Higher Education and Training being able to deliver internet access on campus and surrounding areas, he explained.“The idea is for the Department of Higher Education to deploy free wi-fi on campus and for surrounding communities (where students live) throughout the country.”The wi-fi deployment is scheduled for 17 June and Knott-Craig said that the rural area provided an ideal test-bed for how the poor would be able to participate on the internet.“Eastern Cape is ideal because it is as rural as you get and [is] densely populated. Until we solve connectivity problems there, South Africa will always have a problem.”It’s a sentiment similar to that expressed by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in his drive to push Internet.org, despite criticism the platform has received.“Giving people free access is the right thing to do. Facebook will keep connecting more people and more countries, and won’t stop until every person in the world can connect to the internet,” Zuckerberg said when he announced the availability of the platform in Malawi.In South Africa, Tshwane’s city-wide wi-fi programme continues to grow beyond expectations.The service is now available in 96 wards with 575 live sites. Project Isizwe has 161 577 users of the service, up from just 1 567 in 2013.In Western Cape, Stellenbosch – where the free wi-fi project was initiated – is still considering how to best offer citizens internet access.“We continue to try to engage the municipality but they are going through an internal process. as to how to take Stellenbosch Free Wi-Fi forward,” said Knott- Craig.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Solar Decathlon 2011: Tidewater Virginia

first_imgLive at the International Builder’s ShowThe Unit 6 shell The house also is equipped with a 4′ x 10′ flat-plate solar thermal collector and 50-gallon hot water storage tank. When necessary, a separate in-line system kicks in to heat the water just before it reaches the fixtures. Mechanical equipment also includes a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim minisplit heat-pump system, with one outdoor unit and two concealed, ducted indoor units, with a total capacity of 22,000 Btu/hour. A variety of insulation strategies will bring the floor to R-35, the exterior walls to R-28, and the roof to slightly more than R-40. Project manager John Whitelaw points out that closed-cell spray polyurethane foam is being used to help seal the shell while providing thermal resistance of R-6 to the floor, R-14 to the walls, R-21 to most of the ceiling, and the full R-40 in the part of the sloped roof framed with 6-in. laminated-veneer beams. In addition to the 1 in. of spray foam used to seal and partially insulate the floor, high-performance EcoBatt will be installed to hit the R-30 value. On the exterior walls, batt insulation fills the rest of the 2×6 framing to bring that part of the enclosure to the R-28 level. The walls will be sheathed in paintable medium-density-overlay plywood. The pitched roof will be covered with thermoplastic polyolefin membrane and raised-seam sheet metal, while the flat roof, which is insulated inside with dense-packed cellulose and 1 in. of polyisocyanurate board outside the sheathing, will be covered with a white membrane to reflect sunlight. MORE INFORMATION Team Tidewater Solar Decathlon Web page DOE Web page for Team Tidewater GBA Resource Guide for 2011 Solar Decathlon Sealing and selling potential The team selected custom windows and exterior doors from Henselstone, based in Amissville, Virginia. Most of the windows will be triple-pane, although three on the south-facing wall will be double-pane units that offer a high solar heat-gain coefficient. While two large horizontal windows serving the building’s porch/sunspace area are motorized to open and close on a vertical track, the rest operate either as tilt/turn casement windows or tilt/turn hopper windows. In an e-mail about project details, Whitelaw says the team expects good results in blower-door tests. “Since our windows and doors are virtually airtight and the sheathing is all insulated with a coat of spray foam, our only major sources of unintended infiltration will be penetrations for the dryer vent, plumbing, and electrical wiring,” he writes, adding that results should be between 0.6 and 1.0 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure difference. For transport, the building will break up into three modules, plus the roof assembly. Construction costs are expected to be competitive. The team estimates that an independent contractor could build the house for between $250,000 and $300,000, Whilelaw adds. Team Tidewater Virginia set out to build a house that will work exceptionally well as a stand-alone home. The modular house is also designed to work as one of six units in a multifamily project being designed for the Park Place neighborhood of downtown Norfolk, Virginia. One key to bringing the project to life has been the team’s ability to see its multifamily project in Norfolk and its single-family Solar Decathlon entry as completely compatible, rather than divergent, enterprises. A collaboration of students and faculty at Old Dominion University and Hampton University, the team fittingly calls its Decathlon house Unit 6, and the team members seem almost as excited about eventually merging the house with the multifamily project as they are about showing off the building on the National Mall. Almost. At the Decathlon, though, Unit 6 will present as a 971-sq.-ft. one-bedroom home whose performance and amenities are being finely tuned to Washington’s fall climate and the expectations of the experts and regular folks touring the building. Its 2.64-kW photovoltaic array, for example, is designed to provide net-zero-energy performance on an annual basis in Norfolk, although it will accommodate seasonal conditions during the competition with an additional, 1.38-kW parallel array that will be installed on a flat-roof section of the building.last_img read more