South Africa: Tshwane Free WiFi hits one million unique connections

Boubacar Diallo

The City of Tshwane’s Free WiFi Project had hit a major milestone of one million unique connections in October 2015. This is according to the Mayor of Tshwane Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

The service is delivered at average user speeds of 15mbps and has been upgraded to allow 500MB per device per day; equivalent to 15GB per device per month and each user will still have unlimited access to the Tobetsa curated content portal. The vision to bring Free WiFi within walking distance of every citizen by 2017 is underway and this will ensure that every citizen can leverage the Internet to improve their persona circumstance. Already connecting over 70,000 unique users per day, the service is received as a blessing by citizens in an environment where data prices are simply not affordable.

“Tshwane has 66% of its citizens under 35 years of age and it is essential to ensure that Internet access is freely available to them to use as a catalyst for change in their personal circumstances; we have heard our digital natives and are answering their calls”

In addition to this announced increase, the City has plans to allow users who register and have fully settled their municipal accounts to be given an additional 15GB of data per month, totaling 30GB of free Internet data to use on the Tshwane Free WiFi network, along with unlimited access to the revamped Tobetsa Portal. Tobetsa gives local communities the power to access information, education and jobs online, empowering them to up skill themselves and partake in the mainstream economy like never before.

In celebrating this milestone, Sandile Skhosana, the very first Tshwane Free WiFi user and Cliff Mathebula, the one millionth Tshwane Free WiFi user, were both awarded with Tablet devices to encourage the continuous use of the WiFi service to better improve their lives through access to information.  “Tshwane Free WiFi has empowered me with information at my finger tips, making it easy for me to search for job opportunities,” said Cliff.

Brought to you by The City of Tshwane, in partnership with Project Isizwe, The Tshwane Free WiFi service is the largest government funded public space Free WiFi service in Africa and has enabled over one million unique users to get online since it launched in November 2013, logging over 40 million connections to date.According to the latest statistics, the majority of users range between the ages of 18-24 with 51% male vs. 49% female. Significantly, 81% of these users are connecting via their mobile phones.

Zahir Khan, Director and COO of Project Isizwe says “The Tshwane Free WiFi service is by the far the greatest catalyst for development in South Africa and the exponential user adoption has proven that people need to be connected in this digital age.”

Read more at: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2015/11/south-africa-tshwane-free-wifi-hits-one-million-unique-connections/

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