Liquid Telecom SA, has partnered with the Western Cape Government (WCG) to increase the number of free public Wi-Fi hotspots across the region from 178 to 1,600.
It said that 6.6 million residents will soon have greater access to public Wi-Fi located at government buildings across the Western Cape.
This project forms part of a R3 billion plan to provide broadband connectivity to WCG offices, libraries, schools and clinics.
“We have reached our target of full broadband coverage with a total of 1,875 sites, including over 1,200 schools; over 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities. Broadband is a key enabler for our eLearning Game Changer, which aims to enhance teaching and learning using digital technology, focusing in particular on our poorer schools,” said premier Helen Zille.
“It also focuses on preparing our learners for the 21st Century world of work and life-long learning. The WCED has invested R253 million towards e-learning in the 2018/ 2019 financial year and over R1.2 billion over a five-year period.”
“During this term, we have refreshed 700 computer labs, delivered over 32,000 devices, created an online portal with 11,000 resources, trained teachers to a point where 70% are improving at eTeaching, and we will invest R1.2 billion into eLearning over the next 5 years,” Zille said.
Liquid said that the new expanded public Wi-Fi network will be available across all municipalities and provide 3GB of data per device per month at speeds five times faster than the current service.
Government websites will also remain permanently free for users to access, and the country’s cheapest Wi-Fi vouchers for additional data on the network are also still available at selected retailers.
Each of the public Wi-Fi hotspots will allow users to connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot without any logins or passwords.
The hotspots will be installed over the next three years, and the project will run for five years in total.
At present the service offers 178 active hotspots at government buildings across 12 municipalities in the province. It provides 250MB of free data per device per month, and just over 910,000 devices have connected to the network since it was launched in March 2016.