Western Cape residents will receive access to three gigabytes of data for every device they own on a monthly basis, as part of a plan to expand public Wi-Fi network access. This expansion will apply to all municipalities in the province.

A joint statement released by the provincial government along with Liquid Telecommunications SA revealed that the connection speed would be five times faster than it currently is.

This forms part of a R3-billion plan to expand broadband connectivity at schools, provincial libraries, clinics, and offices.

The free public Wi-Fi hotspots will extend across 1 600. Anyone with Wi-Fi-enabled tablets, phones, laptops, and desktop computers will be able to access the network without the hassle of logins or passwords.

According to StatsSA, the Western Cape has the highest levels of internet access in the entire country, with 70.8% of its residents able to access a network connection.

“Most people and communities in rural, remote areas rely heavily on mobile phones to stay in touch and conduct business,” said Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille. “Since mobile broadband costs are still very high to many citizens, public access Wi-Fi networks present an opportunity for citizens to connect, not only to each other, but also to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.”

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.