Isizwe CEO Knott-Craig Jnr plans to bring cheap internet to the masses with Herotel

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Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, CEO of Project Isizwe’s free WiFi initiative, has  announced a new company called Herotel, which is set to bring “fast and affordable” connectivity to the masses.

Instead of offering just another wireless internet service provider (WISP) Herotel, which launches on April 1st of next year, will act as a consolidator of existing local WISPs to make it easier for consumers to install broadband in homes and businesses.

“South Africans need fast, reliable and affordable broadband and are increasingly looking for an alternative to ADSL,” said Knott-Craig.

“WISPs already satisfy this craving with net profit margins reaching as high as 40 per cent. However, due to the fragmented nature of the industry the WISPs suffer from lack of coordination,” he said. “Herotel plans to consolidate the disparate regional wireless broadband providers under a national brand and unlock the economies of scale.”

Herotel was born through the  acquisition of data centre operator, Snowball and internet service provider, Cloud Connect, which are currently being merged to create one network and brand.

The company is also funded by three big players in the business and investment industry, notably, former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan, former Rand Merchant Bank, CEO Mike Pfaff and CIO Derek Prout-Jones.

Corne de Villiers, Francois Wessels, Imel Rautenbach and Van Zyl Botha, make up Herotel’s team of executives. Knott-Craig remains as the CEO of Project Isizwe.

The platform to partner with Herotel is currently open to all WISPs via the company’s website.

“HeroTel is not about building a telco from scratch. It’s about consolidating an existing network of hundreds of wireless broadband entrepreneurs and aligning them with a greater mission: Making it easy to get fast, reliable, affordable broadband,” Knott-Craig said.