Switching on public Wi-Fi hotspots across the Western Cape
The Western Cape Government (WCG) has embarked on a long-term project of laying fibre optic infrastructure across the province in order to provide government buildings, public schools, communities and businesses with access to affordable telecommunications.
Public Wi-Fi service expanded and upgraded
In 2015 the WCG partnered with Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT, then called Neotel) to install limited free Public Wi-Fi hotspots at provincial government buildings across the Western Cape. In late-2018, following the initial success of this project, the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots was expanded to 1600, with an increased data allocation and at faster speeds.
This project forms part of a R3 billion plan to expand on broadband connectivity in WCG libraries, schools, clinics, and offices, and helps to position the region as a leading global digital hub.
More data at faster speeds
Most people and communities in rural, remote areas rely heavily on mobile phones to stay in touch and conduct business, and since mobile broadband costs are relatively expensive to many of our citizens, public Wi-Fi networks provide options they would normally not have.
The public Wi-Fi network is available across all municipalities, now with a larger data limit of 3GB of data per device per month at speeds of at least 10Mbps. A current promotion enables users that have consumed the initial 3GB of monthly data on their device to click through for an additional 3GB of free data per month.
All government websites are permanently free for users to access.
Broadband is an enabler
The way in which young people interact, engage and learn is changing, and we understand the importance of connectivity in creating opportunity and opening up a world of knowledge for people of all ages, particularly within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through the WCG Broadband Project, we’re striving towards a Western Cape where every resident in every town and village has access to affordable high speed broadband infrastructure and services, has the necessary skills to effectively utilise this infrastructure, and is actively using this in their day-to-day lives.
High-speed broadband connections have been installed at almost 2000 WCG sites, including over 1 200 schools; almost 300 health facilities; over 200 libraries and approximately 300 other public facilities.
Broadband is a key enabler for the Western Cape Education Department’s e-Education project, the Department of Health’s e-Health initiative and of the Western Cape Recovery Plan which prioritises jobs, safety and wellbeing.
What the Public Wi-Fi Internet Access Project means for citizens:
- Stable and reliable Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Easy access to a limited allocation of free Internet (3GB per user device per month).
- Unlimited free access to government websites (any time, on any connected device).
- Access to basic mobile digital literacy information.
Who has access?
Anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device can use the service. Devices that are within the coverage area of a hotspot located at any of the public Wi-Fi sites in the Western Cape will be able to use the limited free Wi-Fi service.
Connected and empowered
As we continue to roll out the Wi-Fi network across the province, we look forward to closing the digital divide by improving access and usage of the internet, and stimulating local economic development by providing a connected, enabling environment for businesses to grow. The WCG aims to harness the opportunities presented by the digital economy by rolling out supplementary projects that leverage the improved connectivity in the region, including skills projects for citizens, and business-focused initiatives that improve competitiveness employment opportunities.
Benefits of hotspots
- Increased access to job opportunities, information and transactional opportunities.
- Increased access to educational information and opportunities.
- Improved safety at premises.
- Opportunity for improved service delivery.
- Decrease the digital divide.
How it works
The Wi-Fi hotspots will be mounted on the external walls of the buildings and will point out towards the nearby community. Depending on topography, the hotspots have a range of up to 200m depending on the environment.
How to connect
- Go to device settings on your Wi-Fi enabled device.
- Turn on Wi-Fi.
- Search for Wi-Fi Networks.
- Select WCG_LiquidHotspot.
- Wait for the landing page to pop up.
- Visit government websites for free.
- Click “Access the Internet” to start browsing!
If you need any help connecting, or have any questions about the service, contact:
Phone: 0860 636 835