Frogfoot RISE: Fostering inclusion and digital participation within communities, through partnerships with local ISPs

by Tia

More stable, uncapped and cost-effective internet for less than R10 per day. This was the bold ambition of licensed open-access fibre network operator Frogfoot when they launched their RISE campaign in October 2023.

This prepaid uncapped internet product has been designed to improve fibre penetration across more high density underserved communities, with the initial rollout taking place in Vrygrond and Phillipi in the Western Cape. 

To date, the roll out of this campaign has been accomplished through a mix of technologies, and vital partnerships with local internet service providers including WebAfrica, Web Telecoms, BareMetal, FASTR Connect, Blue Dog and Hypa. 

“Partnering with Frogfoot RISE has significantly bolstered FASTR Connect’s mission to bridge the digital divide in South Africa. This collaboration has allowed us to leverage Frogfoot’s extensive fibre infrastructure to deliver reliable, high-speed internet to communities that previously had limited or no access to such services,” says Regard du Toit at FASTR Connect, an ISP that specialises in providing informal and low-income communities with access to high-speed broadband internet connectivity. “We are proud of our partnership with Frogfoot RISE and through this collaboration, we are not only addressing the immediate connectivity needs but also laying the foundation for long-term socio-economic development and digital empowerment”.

Frogfoot RISE enhances accessibility for residents by incorporating an optical network terminal (ONT) with integrated WiFi capabilities, which translates to no additional fibre installation being required by the ISP, and residents not needing an additional router in order to access the internet. 

“We want to thank all of our partners who share our vision to provide user-friendly, reliable and sustainable internet connectivity to communities, and the added transformative benefits this brings in terms of education, economic opportunities, financial services and social development,” says David Coleman, Frogfoot Chief Product Officer.

Success to date has also been as a result of enhanced community engagement, which has enabled Frogfoot and partnering ISPs to implement fibre in a way that has made local communities part of the process. Community activations, such as a selfie competition which is being hosted by local ISP BareMetal throughout July and August in Vrygrond, is another example of how Frogfoot and partners are increasing awareness, education and interaction with the public about the benefits of the internet, with prizes including a year’s free internet access. Other initiatives held in both Vrygrond and Phillip include educational campaigns about internet etiquette, the importance of parental supervision and opportunities afforded to the community through the availability of the internet.

“High-speed internet is a cornerstone for modern development, facilitating remote work, online learning, and digital entrepreneurship. By expanding fibre connectivity, we enable more South Africans to participate in the global digital economy, improving their quality of life and fostering inclusive growth and innovation across the country,” says Ereesha Arendse at BareMetal, a South African BEE information technology company headquartered in Cape Town. “Partnering with Frogfoot RISE has been transformative for our company. Together with Frogfoot RISE, we are not just building networks; we are building futures, empowering communities, and fostering economic growth through advanced digital infrastructure”.

Plans are afoot to extend Frogfoot RISE into other areas within the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State in coming months.

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