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SA female-owned ISP connecting the underserved

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People living in underserved areas deserve fast, reliable fiber Internet connectivity at affordable prices, said Sky Internet SA CEO Lorna Mlonzi in an interview with Connecting Africa.

Mlonzi said she carefully studied the needs of low-income South African households, found a gap in the market and realised that Internet is no longer a luxury but a need.

"I wanted to bridge the digital divide between the haves and have-nots. The Internet enabled me to change my life professionally and personally," she explained.

She added that, through the Internet, she became a Cisco-certified network engineer, and holds a national diploma in information communication technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Therefore, she knew she needed to help in the communities where she grew up. Born in the Eastern Cape town of Gqebera and raised in the Cape Town township called Nyanga East, Mlonzi said she created the company after studying where she lived.

"Sky Internet SA aims to change the narrative of how we view our circumstances, our spaces and ourselves. We want to be an agent of change," she said.

"We have been working on the company for about four years, doing research, looking at funding options and possibilities locally and abroad," Mlonzi continued.

Affordable connection

Mlonza said the company offers cost-effective and affordable services as well as fast speeds, a minimum of 35Mbit/s optic fiber for households and quality of service.

"Users can connect an unlimited number of devices within a household, unlike most service providers, our packages are not capped on data. You pay a standard fee for unlimited monthly access," she continued.

Furthermore, she added that the company offers turnkey ICT solutions for businesses to have a digital presence and drive more business online to help South Africa's township economy.

Forging partnerships

After working at reputable telecommunications companies and Internet service providers such as Cell C, Vodacom, Dimension Data, RSA Web and Even Flow, to name a few, Mlonzi added that, for her company to work, she had to partner with companies that shared the same values.

Launched in February as an Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) licensed service provider, Sky Internet went live in April.

Want to know more about connectivity in Africa? Check out our dedicated Connectivity content channel here on Connecting Africa.

The company has since gone live in the South African townships of Nyanga, Langa and Gugulethu, with plans to roll out in Khayelitsha, Phillipi and the rest of the Western Cape.

"We have formed connectivity partnerships with Openserve and Octotel and we are onboarding Century City Connect and Vumatel," she said.

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*Top image is of Lorna Mlonzi, Sky Internet SA CEO. (Source: Sky Internet SA)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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