South Africa’s City of Tshwane, in association with Project Isizwe, has launched the second phase of the Tshwane Free Wi-Fi internet project intended to install 214 new Free Internet Zone (FIZ) sites at schools in Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Soshanguve.
The Free Internet Zone (FIZ) allows users with WiFi enabled devices to access free internet without any logins or passwords.
“This unprecedented intervention will juxtapose Tshwane as an e-Capital of excellence and a driver of education in the country aligned to the creation of a Smart City and a knowledge economy” said Tshwane Executive Mayor, Cllr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Since the introduction of the first phase there has been a reported increase of up to 80 percent in revenue since the Free WiFi.
“The City of Tshwane is showing the country that Internet access can be treated as a basic service, the same as water and electricity,” said Project Isizwe CEO Alan Knott-Craig.
The usage policy only allows users to use 250MB per device in a day and forbids access to websites containing adult content and the like, to protect against abuse of the free service. It also contains a specialized content portal, Tobetsa, which is available for unlimited access and designed to give Free WiFi users the opportunity to make the most of what the internet has to offer.
This chosen content includes access to research and educational sites including Wikipedia, Siyavula and Fundza, as well as Gumtree’s Job-Searching portal including tips for CV writing, interviews and more.
The deployment of the third phase of this project is set to kick off in this month. It will contain 400 sites and capacity for a further 2 million users, with an emphasis on healthcare facilities throughout its low-income communities.
By July 2015 the City aims to have capacity for at least 3 million users on public access Free WiFi, covering all clinics, schools, parks, sports clubs and other public spaces.