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Monday Dec 15, 2014

Tshwane set to have largest free wifi access

The City of Tshwane has announced a free WiFi network.

Chief Information officer at City of Tshwane Dumisani Otumile said the idea was to ensure the capital city had the largest free public wifi access in the country and possibly the continent because Tshwane housed a lot of key infrastructural areas.

"Connectivity should become a basic service to be provided by municipalities without taking from other necessities that are required," he said.

"By June next year the city should have 650 sites able to provide massive capacity to the tune of 8GB of free data a month per user and it will only cost the city R1 per 1GB per month," said Otumile.

Through this project, he said, the outcome would be lowering the cost of doing business in the capital and creating quality infrastructure development.

Alan Knott-Craigh, chief executive for Project Isizwe, said they partnered with the city after noting the need to provide everyone with internet services even in remote areas. "We saw immense potential for growth in the ICT sector that could not wait for private service providers to initiate at inflated costs," he said.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said most people in the city were below 35 years of age and the city wanted to create a platform for them to engage and voice their opinions.

"The average person has access to internet on their phones and we wanted to make a substantial contribution to access those people who would not normally participate in imbizos," Ramokgopa said.

"Internet will become a basic service in the future, with the city contributing R250 million over a three-year period to grow the economy and future aspirations."

Ramokgopa said hotspots would be convenient for individuals who found it hard to make ends meet due to the minimal cost they would have to incur.

The WiFi Voice network, which will be live by September next year, will also allow users to make free calls between connected users through the network, with each call lasting five minutes.

Knott-Craigh said partnering with the city drastically reduced the cost of wifi as the city already had the key infrastructure in place to support this initiative.

Pretoria News


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