WC broadband rollout connects thousands of residents and businesses to internet

05 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

During a meeting of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Premier and Constitutional Matters on Friday, it was revealed that the Provincial Government has rolled out 1302 free public Wi-Fi hotspots across the province since 2015.

As part of this initiative, the Provincial Government and Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT), have equipped 1911 public sites in total, including schools, health facilities, libraries as well as corporate sites, with broadband internet access. In Phase 2 of this initiative, which started in October 2017, 1549 (81%) of these sites were upgraded to a minimum connection speed of 100mbps, with the rest set to be upgraded by September when Phase 2 is completed.

These hotspots allow any resident with a Wi-Fi enabled device to access 3 GB of data per month, at no charge. Hotspots are also available in rural areas, with the second-most used hotspot in the province during April located at Masakheke Combined School in Robertson.

This initiative has experienced some challenges as a result of loadshedding and cyber attacks. However, the Department of the Premier established a dedicated team to work with LIT to monitor connectivity and develop strong defences to ensure important government functions are secure, including:

• Software patching
• Web encryption
• Application security
• Systems hosting
• User awareness campaigns

MPP Lorraine Botha says: “Internet connectivity has become a requirement for participation in the modern economy. By helping our residents to access information about jobs, education and government services, the Western Cape Government is putting them in a position to empower themselves. Government systems are dependent on internet access, and fast internet translates directly to better service delivery. This initiative once again shows that government should look to partner with the private sector where it makes sense to deliver better outcomes for our citizens.”