Soweto Wireless User Group (SOWUG) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation,that provides free wireless solution and it is currently based in Soweto.
Why we do it?
To help address social and economic challenges that exist.
To provide innovative solutions that have impact on communities and small businesses.To ensure that we have smart and forward thinking communities.
To enable people to take advantage of the IOT & the ICT's.To ease the process of information and access and enable rapid innovation.
SOWUG was established in February 2010 as an NPO that seeks to promote information sharing through wireless communication. I. Its true form was from an organization called Johannesburg Wireless User Group that provided wireless services through game playing and chatting to friends who have deployed the WiFi networking at their homes. As founders of SOWUG, we then felt that it is necessary to customize our network to cater for the intellectual, social, and economic needs of our community not just limited to information sharing and social networking but also to enhance the development of the broader community through self-empowerment and self-education programmes amongst others.
The future of SOWUG lays in becoming full ISP operator,structured as an NPO.To do we have apply for the ECS license with an exemption(from what;to ay fees?) with also for the ECNS to enable us to sell as an internet service provider.
Sowug has created 10 jobs- technicians, four of them are women, but none of them are direct employees. The business model is key to its success and sustainability. While SOWUG itself is a NPO, its staff members are individual entreprenuers.Each of the ten seeks their own clients,collects the subcriptions and provides client support.
When SOWUG brings a services to a new area,they encourage local people to become technicians and provide them wth informal mainly on-the-job training.Each technician retains 60% of the income and 40% goes to cover SOWUG costs, including site rent (antennae and office),electricity,backhaul and so forth.
SOWUG is taking action to address it's lack of influence and financial power as a small local ISP.It has joined with about 15 other small ISPs based and operating in town lands all over South Africa to form as association called B3C (Black Connectors Community Co-operative) which is registered as a cooperative.They are united in employing all sales and technical people from within the community,and all have a broader development commitment to their respective commuities.One goal is ensure that when infrastructure such as that of Vumatel comes to a community,opportunities are available to ensure that local ISP, employing local staff,can offer the services.They are calling for regulatory changes to achieve this.