City of Joburg rolls out cutting edge FREE Wi-Fi network
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Touted as the most ambitious programme to roll out digital infrastructure ever achieved in the southern hemisphere, the installation of next-generation Wi-Fi is part of the City’s plan to turn Johannesburg into a globally competitive, digital Smart City.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (14 October 2020) – The City is deploying the next-generation of Wi-Fi across various sites to pioneer a digital future for telecommunication within the municipality, setting its goal of transforming Johannesburg into a Smart City in motion.

The quality, bandwidth and throughput of the Wi-Fi are world-class and comparable to the best standards found anywhere in the world.

There is also a multitude of potential next-generation applications with reduced latency, increased speed and better efficiency waiting to be explored in the future.

“The new normal has prompted the City to revisit the rollout of free Wi-Fi as a priority on an equal footing with other essential services such as the provision of water and electricity,” says Cllr Jolidee Matongo, the MMC of Finance.

Through the City’s broadband network entity, the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC), the next-generation Wi-Fi has already been rolled out in Braamfontein and several parts of northern and southern Joburg, bringing the entire City within reach of the benefits of modern technology.

Neani Mulaudzi, the Network Operations Manager at MTC, says the Wi-Fi will also be installed at Rea Vaya stations and inside buses to digitise Johannesburg fully. The first 84 Wi-Fi hotspots providing completely free access to the Internet are already operational, and this is expected to grow over the years.

Joburg’s free Wi-Fi offers each single device 500MB of data a day, allowing users to surf and download at a speed of 5MBps.

Mulaudzi says the City wants to use its 1 000 kilometres of fibre optic wire to enable broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi access to all its citizens. It’s hoped this will improve municipal services and drive economic growth, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown, which have fostered a new digital normal for socialising, conducting business, as well as working and studying.

Touted as the most ambitious programme to roll out digital infrastructure ever achieved in the southern hemisphere, the installation of next-generation Wi-Fi is part of the City’s plan to turn Johannesburg into a globally competitive, digital Smart City.

Once a fully-fledged Smart City, Joburg will have an advanced, digital economy, manage the environment, utilities, transportation, health, planning, governance, public safety, urban disasters, finances, and people through technology. The overall strategy is to enable innovation in the City whilst bridging the digital divide through improving access to technological connectivity.

“We’ve set up the best fibre network that enables high-speed connectivity. Rich or poor, all must have access. To distribute it as much as possible has become essential because the need is there, that much has been proven,” says Mulaudzi.

With a cash injection of over R40-million rands for the 2020/2021 fiscal year, Joburg is well on its way to becoming a Smart City and Wi-Fi access is essential for this goal, says Cllr Matongo.

“The City has demonstrated its commitment to assist residents who have limited access to the Internet. This is done to give residents free access to municipal services, economic opportunities and academic materials through online platforms,” he says.


Sources: City of Joburg
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