The Gauteng On-line (GoL) project, which aims to provide every government school in Gauteng with a specialised computer laboratory and connect them to a central network, is having a steady impact on computer and Internet access for of learners and educators across the province.
SMMT Online, the company contracted to deliver the network, hardware installation, security and connectivity for schools, started the task of connecting about 2 000 Gauteng schools in January 2008.
Now, with the project roll-out in full swing, GoL looks set to boost South Africa’s 4,6-million internet users by about 50%, as GoL adds about 2,5-million users to the Internet.
SMMT has already installed computer facilities and enabled connectivity for just over 1 000 Gauteng schools, each receiving a laboratory of 25 workstations. Currently, this equates to an estimated 25 000 concurrent users of GoL’s infrastructure at any one time.
Currently, GoL is receiving 27-million internet page requests daily across network – about 4 000 per hour or nearly 300 000 page requests per average school day
GoL basic educator training began in August and, once complete, advanced training will begin.
Hope Kekana, who heads up operations at SMMT Online, says the company became active on the GoL project about 20 months ago, five years after the initial project began.
“We’ve managed to deliver at an acceptable rate and have held a firm focus on achieving the highest quality installations and the cutting-edge technology which supports the project, to ensure that GoL remains a long-term asset for schools," Kekana says.