The city of Tshwane is the capital city of South Africa and one of the biggest cities in Gauteng. Home to the Union Buildings, Tshwane is also known for pioneering free Wi-Fi in public spaces in South Africa.
Through Tshwane Free Wi-Fi, more than two million citizens in Tshwane have been able to access the internet.
With over 1000 Wi-Fi hotspots, Tshwane Free Wi-Fi has been narrowing the digital divide. With an average speed of 15mbps, Tshwane Wi-Fi has been an initiative powered by the City of Tshwane.
This has been made possible through a collaboration with Project Isizwe, a non-profit global movement that aims to provide free internet to Africa.
Since the initiative has started, more than 1.6 million unique devices have accessed the network.
Popularly known as TshWi-Fi, the service provides internet access in more than 1000 internet zones in Tshwane- including open public spaces, educational institutions, schools, clinics and libraries.
The service provides 50MB free data every day, free calls, free chat and free movie streaming.
How TshWi-Fi is solving the data problem in South Africa:
A study from Research ICT Africa found that South Africa had the fourth most expensive mobile data in 17 African countries.
The lack of availability of spectrum for wireless broadband services is the major cause of high data prices.
According to Kevin Lebone of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR):
“What’s keeping prices up is uncompetitive behaviour by Telkom. Most of the high data charges are because service providers have to ‘rent’ spectrum from Telkom, which virtually owns all communications infrastructure in the country.”
Access to TshWi-Fi is helping millions of citizens get access to the internet, which they can use for communication, for education purposes and searching for jobs.
City of Tshwane is also set to roll out 1500km of broadband fibre across Tshwane to deliver additional e-services.