THE Western Cape provincial government is aiming to launch 384 WiFi hotspots in strategic locations across the province to ensure maximum coverage for all citizens by 2019.
The provincial government, together with Neotel, on Wednesday launched the first 50 of 384 planned public access WiFi hotspots.
“While there are a few small-scale municipal WiFi 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,” Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde, said in a joint statement. Ms Zille and Mr Winde said that the province’s number one priority was to grow the economy and create jobs, and WiFi connectivity would enable that.
Ms Zille said that the provincial government was prioritising schools in terms of broadband roll-out. A total of 692 schools had been connected to date, as well as 92 libraries and 169 corporate sites. She said the provincial government aimed to have free high-speed internet available in all schools by the end of this year.
The WiFi hotspots are mounted on the external walls of buildings and point out towards the nearby community they are serving. Depending on topography, anyone within 200m of the hotspot can use the service.
No word in the report about related health or environmental issues.