Cape Town continues to roll out free Wi-Fi, takes cautious approach

A free Wi-Fi for all programme was recently started in South Africa and this programme saw major areas as well as parks start to have options to connect to the internet and surf free via the Wi-Fi network. Areas like Johannesburg were not left out of this programme and even up till now, Cape Town has announced its intent and desire to keep rolling out these free Wi-Fi networks to its citizens.

With the hope that this programme would help much more people, especially the poor, to be able to achieve a steady and needed internet connection, a cautious approach is now being taken to the rollout of this free-for-all feature.

Speaking to Fin24, Andre Stelzner who is the Chief Information Officer of the Cape Town area has said that “There are too many examples of public Wi-Fi initiatives by other cities which have failed after the initial emporia of the launch is forgotten and the ongoing financial liability the service presents needs to be burdened by the tax
payer,” which happens to be taken from a very valid school of thought.

Currently, officials in the city have drawn up a plan that say R1.2bn go into the budget that would allow for the supply of free Wi-Fi to the city over extended period of time. According to the city, even after an initial budget of R152 million has been seen over the past 2 years, timelines are “determined largely by the available budget”.

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