More hotspots on the cards for free WiFi in Western Cape

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The Western Cape is on track with its free public WiFi rollout and is in some cases even ahead of schedule, according to Premier Helen Zille.

Zille delivered her annual State of the Province Address (SCOPA) in Cape Town today.

In it, she revealed that its broadband programme, identified as a “Game Changer”, has delivered high-speed internet services to 1414 sites to date and will have covered 1 900 sites by April 2017, as planned.

Since there will be more sites connected this year, the province will upgrade its minimum network speeds to 100 mbps.

Users are currently offered 250MB per device, per day at various hotspots in the province and can buy an extra 5GB for R45 when their free usage runs out.

They also get can also get unlimited access to government websites, including the Western Cape education portal.

“In 2015 we also announced that we would bring WiFi to every ward in the Western Cape through a plan to deliver 384 WiFi hotspots in three years. A total of 150 hotspots will have been delivered by March 2017 and the remaining 234 hotspots will be delivered by early 2018,”Zille said.

Schools have also been prioritised for broadband connection, as part of the eLearning Game Changer. A total of 1 239 schools will be connected to the province’s Wide Area broadband network by 17th April, according to Neotel and SITA projections.

“More than 5 320 Western Cape classrooms are now tech-enabled, exceeding our target of just over 5000,” Zille, indicating the number of schools where infrastructure has been delivered, but may or may not yet to be up and running.

“Our ePortal for learners to access curriculum aligned content now has 5 612 digital resources. Page hits, in our schools, have increased from 375 million in June 2015 to over 3.8 billion page hits in January this year. An additional 745 million Page Hits were recorded in our libraries and Cape Access centres,” Zille said.

The province will also be adding 70 ecentres in communities where youth can access educational content and professional skills development resources.

[ Image – CC Charleston’s TheDigitel]