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Vodacom announces free internet access for university students

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Vodacom says it has taken a decision to zero rate services to universities for students and staff who are Vodacom subscribers, in a bid to help address cost challenges associated with access to education content and remote learning for institutions of higher learning.

The operator said it has already enabled 19 of the 23 South African Universities, including the University of Cape Town (UCT), with free internet access.

“The cost to communicate in South Africa has been a hot topic in recent times, given the impact of the economic slowdown on the South African consumer and global trends on the cost of data, Vodacom said in a statement on Wednesday.

In response to this, the operator said it has over the last four years produced a reduction in the price of data and voice by more than 60% and 57% respectively.

“Vodacom acknowledges that more needs to be done to enable South Africans to enjoy social benefits of connectivity and associated costs. We remain committed to addressing data cost transformation and building on our Siyakha platform that offers zero-rated portals for school learners and job seekers,” it said.

For requirements over and above the zero rated content, Vodacom has launched an e-rate – i.e. billing all data traffic to agreed sites at 50% of the normal data rates for all universities.

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