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Tuesday Aug 06, 2013

Public slow to plug into Cape Town's free wi-fi

Wifi at the Company's Garden is up and running, though so far just over 100 people have taken advantage of the free service in a public space.

Garden manager Rory Phelan expected user numbers to increase today when signs directing visitors to use the service were erected around the restaurant and the aviary.

Launched 11 days ago, the the service provides registered users with 100 megabytes of free data a day, which can be accessed on wifi-enabled smartphones and laptops.

The Cape Times visited the garden to test the service on a laptop yesterday morning and found the registration process straightforward.

An online speed test yielded an average download speed of 720kbps and an upload speed of 300kbps.

To test further, a 10MB podcast was downloaded in about three minutes.

Mayco member for community services and special projects, Belinda Walker, said yesterday the free wi-fi enabled people to work outside.

'The Company's Garden now provides... a place where people can work outside - especially now in a time where many businesses are run from a laptop or smartphone,' she said.

Phelan said the city also expected people to spend lunch breaks browsing the internet. He said he hoped users would use the service to learn more about the history and plants in the garden, by accessing 33 QR or 'quick reference' codes, on trees.

The pilot project was set to spread to more public areas in the city.

'The city is thinking of rolling out free wi-fi in key city areas and urban spaces, which would include extending the free wi-fi throughout the Company's Garden,' he said.

The service is available from 7am to 7pm. Data costs are being carried by Connected Space, while the Cape Town Partnership is covering administration costs.

For any problems users can call the support line at 072 979 5056.

Cape Times


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