Big free WiFi plans for Cape Town

The City of Cape Town says it will expand its Wi-Fi offering so that, by the end of June 2015, free Wi-Fi will be provided at 61 City buildings across the metro.

“Wi-Fi will be provided both inside public buildings, via our 102 SmartCape Computer facilities, and externally via 61 public access hotspots in areas where members of the public congregate and queue for services,” said the city’s executive mayor, Patricia de Lille.

These external public amenities include clinics, administration buildings, traffic departments, fire stations and public transport interchanges in areas such as Langa, Nyanga, Uitsig, Valhalla Park, Athlone and Atlantis.

Each access point will cost between R60,000 and R100,000 to install, the mayor said.

“Our 102 internal public access facilities are situated inside the City’s libraries, where we currently have 679,729 registered users.”

By the end of December this year, public Wi-Fi services will be operational at the Bellville Clinic, Hillstar Administrative Building, Mitchells Plain Switching Centre, Nyanga Switching Centre, Plumstead Administrative Building, Robbie Nurock Clinic, and Site B Youth Clinic in Khayelitsha.

De Lille said that the City has partnered with three commercial service providers to expand internet connectivity to previously disadvantaged communities throughout the metro including MWEB, Internet Solutions, and Orange.

Orange will offer a free 200 MB data bundle per day. Internet Solutions will offer a free data bundle of 50 MB per day, while MWEB will provide an uncapped data bundle for the trial period.

“We are currently investigating providing Wi-Fi on MyCiTi buses and are in the process of conducting a pilot project with an external entity. Information on this project with be forthcoming in due course,” de Lille said.

“We will also be accelerating the digital inclusion project by providing broadband access through the Bandwidth Barn at Lookout Hill,” the mayor said.

City of Cape Town has committed to rolling out broadband infrastructure throughout the metro as part of a R1.3 billion programme to complete the roll-out over the next seven years.

The City’s Telecommunications Department undertook a Proof of Concept trial in four areas in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, namely Stocks & Stocks, Harare, Site C and Lentegeur.

As part of the study, the City installed access point transceivers on City buildings and custom-built poles to provide Wi-Fi zones directly into informal dwellings, the Metro said.

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Big free WiFi plans for Cape Town