The City of Cape Town unveiled its newest free wi-fi hot spot, at the Fisantekraal library on Monday June 20, which, in addition to the SmartCape facility already available there, gives residents even more opportunity to surf the internet for free.
Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance, together with ward 103 councillor Gerhard Fourie, and DA ward 105 candidate Ruan Beneke, gave the hot spot the thumbs up after testing it.
Ms Limberg said the City planned to roll out more hot spots in other neighbourhoods.
“Access to the internet is essential to link our residents with economic opportunities,” she said.
“The City’s libraries attract a large number of patrons of all ages on a daily basis who are either job seekers or entrepreneurs who manage their businesses, or learners and students doing research, or residents simply looking for information in general and connecting to online news, social media or other services.”
Library users using the free wi-fi at the library must register for the service. They will get 500MB of data a month and must comply with a daily time limit so that everyone gets a turn.
“A limited number of computers will offer free wi-fi at the Fisantekraal library, which will help us to manage the associated internet costs,” said Ms Limberg.
The City has a R218 million capital budget this financial year for Broadband Network Roll-out Project. So far it had spent R33 million on rolling out a wireless network, said Mr Fourie.
“A large portion of the budget has been dedicated to installing fibre-optic cables and switching capacity in a number of areas where there was previously no broadband infrastructure. This investment in broadband infrastructure will result in a lasting asset that will benefit residents for many years to come,” he said.
“Thus far, we have been able to provide free wi-fi at minimal cost to our ratepayers by using our own existing network infrastructure. We have managed to achieve this with a capital budget of only R5 million for each of the last two years.
“Using our own infrastructure ensures much better value for money than paying very high costs to outsource the service,” added Mr Beneke.
The City has achieved its target of 30 wi-fi zones going live by the end of this financial year in June, and about 60 more will be rolled-out the following financial year to June 2017.