Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab is celebrating more than a year of taking occupancy of its then-new incubation space ̶ and it can now also boast the installation of a 100Mbps fibre link, proudly sponsored by Internet Solutions (IS).
The Internet line is sponsored by the IS initiative Internet Solutions Labs (ISLabs), which aims to grow the Internet in South Africa by supporting, promoting and incubating a culture of innovation in the online community.
“ISLabs is a small part of our open innovation strategy, which has been operating since 2008,” says Brian Pinnock, General Manager: Innovation at IS.
“We’re proud to power the start-ups at Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab in the Western Cape,” Brian adds.
The 100Mbps fibre link enables start-ups to access the Internet at speeds comparable to those of Silicon Valley. A four-minute song that would take around half a minute to download on a traditional DSL 1Mbps broadband connection, for example, would take under a second to download on a 100Mbps fibre connection. This might seem a trivial difference ̶ until you scale that example up to, say, a two-hour high-definition movie that would take around six hours or more to download on traditional broadband but under five minutes on a 100Mbps fibre connection.
Innovative high-definition video services that could be applied in business, telemedicine, education and the like can now be trialed and tested properly at these kinds of speeds. In addition, expensive services that would have had to be built on site, such as large databases using big data analytics, can now be hosted or accessed from elsewhere. This means that start-ups can access these databases quickly and effectively and also create business around big data analytics that are not necessarily co-located at the facility.
In this day and age of 24/7 reliance on the Internet and with an increase in mobile workforces, internet access and speed are critical to driving productivity. Philip Marais, CEO of LaunchLab, is very excited about the sponsorship.
“This fibre link sponsored by IS plays a key role in enhancing the productivity of our residents, which helps us to achieve our goal of accelerating entrepreneurs to a higher level,” Philip explains.