The Wireless School Connectivity Project is an initiative that has connected a secondary school in a poor township of Harare, to the Internet using wireless technologies. The concept was developed as a result of participation in a wireless workshop in which the fundamentals of building wireless links was demonstrated as an alternative low-cost approach to connecting schools to the Internet. The wireless technology itself is a bundle of solutions that use the licence-exempt Industrial Scientific and Medical (SM) 2.4 GHz frequency band for connecting both the “first mile” to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and distributing the internet using WiFi in the classroom.
The project team established relationships with four main stakeholders through whom they were able to deliver an Internet connection to the school: the Internet service provider; the backbone service provider; the regulator; and the school ICT training organization.
The plan for the future is to track the progression of wireless technology developments and to bring it to bear in the context of the school networking initiative in Zimbabwe. The project hopes to develop a “mesh network” using wireless technology, so that all schools in the Highfield’s Township have low cost Internet in their computer labs.