Date set for next phase of nationwide WiFi rollout

  • Deputy President Paul Mashatile will launch the next phase of the nationwide government plan to connect households to WiFi internet this Friday.
  • The next phase will see 42 000 government facilities including schools and hospitals connected across rural South Africa.
  • So far the Department of Communications and Digital Tech says that over 750 000 households now have internet access thanks to the initiative.

The next phase of the government’s nationwide plan to connect 1.5 million households to the internet across the country is set to begin this week Friday, 19th April 2024.

According to Deputy President Paul Mashatile, who will be leading the official launch of the second phase from the Ephraim Mogale Stadium in Modimolle, Limpopo, this next step of the project will connect over 42 000 government facilities, including schools, health facilities, post offices, police stations and government offices, to broadband services.

It follows the first phase of the project, which per the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, was successful in connecting over 750 000 households and about 4 366 community hotspots to WiFi internet in 11 district municipalities across South Africa.

When the project began rolling out in earnest in February, government had already connected around 360 000 households and 2 502 community locations to WiFi internet. According to the department, the project involves the capabilities of 76 of the country’s smaller internet service providers (ISPs).

Around 4 500 jobs are expected to emerge from the whole project before the end of 2024. The final objective of the project is to ensure that 80 percent of the country’s population has access to the internet by the end of the year.

In South Africa, 60.5 percent of people across the country have access to the internet according to the 2023 National Census. Mostly thanks to the high adoption rate of mobile phones.

In February, Communications Minister Mondli Gungubele said that in the next three to four years the government is looking to connect 5.5 million more households to WiFi hotspots around the country.

Unfortunately it will take another nine years before the next National Census is conducted, in which we will learn how many households have actually been connected to the internet thanks to this government initiative.

[Source – SA News]

[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 Government ZA on Flickr]


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