Switching on public Wi-Fi hotspots across the Western Cape
The Western Cape Government 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
The Western Cape Government recently partnered with Liquid Telecommunications SA (LTSA) to expand the number of limited free Public Wi-Fi hotspots at government buildings to 1600, with an increased data allocation and at faster speeds.
This project forms part of an R3 billion plan to expand on broadband connectivity in Western Cape Government 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 still unaffordable to many of our citizens, having Wi-Fi networks in place present them with options they would normally not have.
The current WCG-LTSA Public Wi-Fi Hotspot project is active at 178 government buildings across 12 municipalities in the Province and provides 250MB of free data per device per month. Over 910 000 devices have connected to the network since it was launched in March 2016 and currently use over 12TB of data per month.
The new expanded public Wi-Fi network will be available across all municipalities, now with a big boost of 3GB of data per device per month at speeds 5 times faster than the current service.
Government websites will remain permanently free for users to access.
Broadband is a Game Changer
We also know that 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.
With the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) Broadband Game Changer, 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.
We have reached our target of full broadband coverage with a total of 1 875 sites, including over 1 200 schools; over 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities.
Broadband is a key enabler for our eLearning Game Changer, which aims to enhance teaching and learning using digital technology, focusing in particular on our poorer schools. It also focuses on preparing our learners for the 21st Century world of work and life-long learning. The WCED has invested R253 million towards e-learning in the 2018/ 2019 financial year.
During this term, we have refreshed 700 computer labs, delivered over 32 000 devices, created an online portal with 11 000 resources, trained teachers to a point where 70% are improving at eTeaching, and we will invest R1.2 billion into eLearning over the next 5 years.
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 .gov.za websites (any time, on any connected device).
- The development of ICT and other skills development and improved levels of digital literacy.
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 1600 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 as access and usage of internet reaches all our citizens, and to help stimulate 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 and create an enabling environment for economic growth and improved employment opportunities.
Benefits of hotspots
- Increased access to job opportunities, information and transactional opportunities.
- Increased usage of hotspots for educational purposes.
- 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 NeoHotspot.
- Click Connect.
- Start browsing!
If you need any help connecting, or have any questions about the service, contact:
Phone: 0860 636 835