The City of Johannesburg has relaunched its free Joburg WiFi hotspots roll-out project after four years.
Digital inequality continues to be high in the city with at least 50% of people in Johannesburg and 80% of residents in informal settlements still without access to the Internet.
“The relaunch of the Joburg Free WiFi Hotspots comes at a time when the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent National Lockdown has forced all of us to go digital to socialise, do business, search for economic opportunities and study,” said Finance MCC Councillor Jolidee Matongo.
The project emanates from the city’s Growth and Development Strategy.
Over R40-million has been allocated from the 2020/21 budget into the expansion of free WiFi hotspots to identified townships, hostels, flats, student villages and old age homes.
There are currently 84 active Joburg Free Wi-Fi Hotspots across the city, from the Braamfontein Precinct to some municipal customer service centres across the city’s regions A to G.
The hotspots that are already alive across the city are being accessed by up to 6 000 devices, and future enhancements include the implementation of analytics which will ensure insightful reporting on the use of the hotspots.
“All the Joburg Free WiFi Hotspots run on solar power, and are manned by the city’s broadband network company, the Metropolitan Trading Company. Regular daily health checks are also conducted on the hotspots to ensure efficient service, and many of them are in areas with surveillance cameras to monitor activities around them,” Matongo noted.
Users can access 500 MB of data each day for each device, with surfing and downloading of speeds of 5 Mb/s.