The City of Tshwane is celebrating its milestone of having connected at least 2 million internet users through free Wi-Fi since 2013.
Yesterday, the city’s director in media relations, Lindela Mashigo, said in a statement that the innovative Free Wi-Fi initiative, which began in 2013, has rolled out 921 Free Internet Zones across public areas in the city.
“The 2 million unique users have enjoyed more than 106 million online sessions, using more than 2 289TB of data,” Mashigo said.
“Tshwane Free Wi-Fi [TshWi-Fi] has more than 90 000 users accessing the service daily, with up to 10 000 concurrent users.”
Mashigo said TshWi-Fi was regarded as the biggest free public Wi-Fi network in Africa, and that most users “are living and working in the low income communities of Tshwane”.
Solly Msimanga, Tshwane’s newly appointed executive mayor, said he was excited about this achievement and looked forward to seeing the extension of the TshWi-Fi network.
“I applaud the officials of the city and our service providers, who are working to bring more of our people online,” said Msimanga. “We will work to expand the Wi-Fi network, the internet speed and connection quality under this new Tshwane government, and we will work to get more communities on to free Wi-Fi.”
The innovative project, recently awarded as the Most Innovative Government Programme to bridge the Digital Divide (World Wi-Fi Day Awards), has enabled more than two-thirds of Tshwane’s population to access high-speed, reliable internet.
Earlier this year, TshWi-Fi increased its service to users, who received 500MB of free internet data per day. Although only 7% of users reach this cap, this unparalleled service meant citizens who would otherwise be paying high mobile rates were able to access the internet free of charge, benefiting from the resources and world of opportunity being online enabled.