Coca-Cola South Africa, bottling partner Coca-Cola Fortune and BT Global Services are partnering to set up WiFi on Coca-Cola machines and provide free Internet access to impoverished communities in South Africa.
Coca-Cola is installing the refreshment-dispensing coolers while BT is providing design and support, connectivity and internet access, as well as business training.
The pilot project has been launched in two key areas in Umtata in the Eastern Cape province and Nelspruit, in the Mpumalanga province.
“The initiative forms part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to building sustainable communities by empowering the members of these communities. We believe that by giving them access to free WiFi we will enable students and school children in the area to increase their knowledge through research while also giving entrepreneurs and small business owners in the community the opportunity to manage some of their business aspects online,” says David Visser, CIO of Coca-Cola South Africa.
Oliver Fortuin, MD, BT Global Services, sub-Saharan Africa, says: “We are delighted to collaborate with Coca-Cola and be involved in a project that will give underserved communities much improved access to information and education opportunities.
“At BT, we have a vision for a Connected Society: to help improve society globally through the power of digital connections. As well as providing access, we want to help people use technology to apply their creativity and harness the possibilities of today’s connected world.”
The project provides WiFi connectivity for community members of Nelspruit and Umtata. The sites were strategically chosen for their accessibility, so as to maximise usage of technology by the locals.
Coca-Cola South Africa, Coca-Cola Fortune and BT Global Services aim to grow the project and install WiFi coolers in various parts of South Africa to help support and grow sustainable communities.