Free wifi for Tshwane schools

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Most of the schools in Tshwane townships will have free wifi from the end of next month as part of the city’s new Free Wifi Project.

It will ensure Internet access in 213 schools in Soshanguve, Mamelodi and Attridgeville.

The initiative is part of a bigger plan to provide all learning institutions in Tshwane with free wifi by 2016. The mayor of the city, Kgotsientso Ramokgopa, said they intend to open the door to possibilities to Tshwane’s youth.

The first phase of the project, launched in November last year, provided free connectivity in places such as Church Square, Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus, Mamelodi Community Hall and the area around the University of Pretoria.

Ramokgopa announced in the city’s budget speech last week that the Free Wifi Project had been allocated R105 million. This includes wifi in all the BRT buses in the city, wifi in all municipal buildings and infrastructure support to some of the schools.

Blessing Manale, spokesperson for the City of Tshwane, said all the schools have been implemented with wifi equipment. “We just have some power problems in some areas where Eskom operates,” he said.

The wifi will be available at primary and secondary schools in the areas mentioned above. Manale added every citizen has the right to connect and surf free of charge at these Free Wi-Fi Zones.

“However, we restrict the data allocation to ensure a fair experience for every citizen – it must be noted that we do allow unlimited access to certain curated content geared towards learning above the daily usage limit of 250MB per day,” he said.

Manale said since the launch of the first phase in November last year over 15 000 devices have connected, with over 1 700 connecting on a single day.

“Our expected outcomes include an increased GDP, increased employment opportunities and a better equipped learning environment,” he said.

Ramokgopa said for every 1 000 new connections, 80 new jobs are created and that they are very excited to bring the World Wide Web to the children of Tshwane.


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