Six months free wi-fi in Cape Town

Cape Town is to provide six months of free wi-fi to residents of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha from December.

The pilot project is part of plans to increase access to affordable wi-fi in under-served areas. In June Cape Town undertook a US grant-funded feasibility study examining the suitability of its fibre-optic backbone in relation to creating affordable wi-fi in disadvantaged districts such as Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said that depending on the success of the six-month pilot project the service would be put out to tender, meaning that eventually over a million people in under-served areas would get “fast and affordable” internet access.

De Lille said the city has designated R222m to expand its broadband infrastructure over the next three years – in addition to the R51m already spent in the past financial year.

The city is also utilising a donation of high-tech equipment, used in the country's sports stadiums during the 2010 World Cup, which has enhanced the bandwidth connectivity of Cape Town’s fibre-optic network.