The Western Cape Government, in conjunction with Neotel, has launched 50 Wi-Fi hotspots across the province. They constitute the first phase of a plan to connect 384 public-access Wi-Fi hotspots in strategic location by 2019.
According to a joint statement by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, and Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde,”While there are a few small-scale municipal Wi-Fi projects on the go, no other provincial administration is undertaking a connectivity project of this scale. We are also the only province focused on bringing connectivity to rural areas, with a hotspot in every single ward no matter where you are.”
The hotspots will provide 300MB of data free to users in their first month of connection. Thereafter they will receive 250MB free per month, with an option to top up at R5 for an additional 700MB, R15 for 2G, and R45 for 7G. The extra data will only expire in 2024.
A specialised portal has also been devised to provide unlimited browsing of government websites, as well as a digital literacy course.
“To date, State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) has invested approximately R315m in our broadband programme and Neotel has invested R186m,” Zille said.
The Wi-Fi hotspots are externally mounted on buildings, giving anyone within a 200m radius the ability to use the service.