This is an update on our Free WiFi Hotspots in Western Cape post from 2016.
The Western Cape Regional Government and Liquid Telecom have announced that more than 1,875 government ground sites are now connected to a newly built fibre network that includes 178 free Wi-Fi hotspots. The project, which was launched in 2014, has been revised since it was first announced by the Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. This is due in part to the acquisition of Neotel, the original program partner, by Liquid Telecom. Additionally, the amount of government owned ground sites now being used is less due to closures, moves, renovations and amalgamations.
Not All Targets Have Yet Been Reached
Along with the downward revision of the original rollout agreement, the original 10Mbps FREE Wi-Fi Hotspot speeds have not yet been realised. However, it was recently announced by the Western Cape Government that by the end of August 2018, almost all sites will be connected by fibre. Of these sites more than 85% will have 100Mbps speeds with 10% of them even enjoying 1Gbps speeds. This will only be partially completed during the course of 2019, but speed upgrades will continue to be made over the next few years.
What Does This Mean For The Western Cape?
The final number of sites which have now been connected using the new government fibre network is 1,875. This includes numerous schools, hospitals, clinics and of course libraries. It also includes almost all of the major government offices and affiliated buildings in the Cape Metropole. As mentioned in the original article, the FREE Wi-Fi Hotspots in Cape Town will continue to offer limited amounts of free daily data as well as free access to all government websites.
Did You Know? According to the World Bank “for every 10% increase in broadband penetration, GDP growth in that area or region increases by 1.38%”. The Western Cape Government is banking on these figures, and if they prove to be as accurate here as they have been elsewhere in the world, the local economy is in for a massive boost.