What’s better than Wi-Fi? Now, the answer might surprise you. You might be saying something silly like the smell of dust when its about to rain or being greeted by your favourite pet when you get home from a long day of work. Sure, both of those things are nice but they’re not better than Wi-Fi. Grow up, we all know the only thing that actually surpasses a constant and stable internet connection is when that service is free. It’s rare to come across such a magnificent service yet when you’re able to, you should seek it out and never let it go. Fortunately for folks in Joburg, doing so is about to become a whole lot easier as The City of Johannesburg has relaunched the free Wi-Fi project!
The initiative was re-announced yesterday on Twitter with The City of Johannesburg’s official account (weird times, I know) saying, “Today we are re-launching the free #JoburgWiFi hotspots roll-out. This is after the free WiFi roll-out took a backseat in the past four years.” The post doesn’t mention why it was delayed for four whole years but they must have good reasons, right? Nah, probably not.
Today we are re-launching the free #JoburgWiFi hotspots roll-out. This is after the free wifi roll- out took a backseat in the past four years. – @MatongoMmc ^PS
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) September 13, 2020
“R40 Million has been allocated from the 2020/2021 #JoburgBudget20 into the roll-out of the free #JoburgWiFi hotspots to even hostels, flats, student villages and old age homes,” said Jolidee Matonga, member of Joburg’s mayoral committee for finance, as reported by MyBroadband. “Over 1,000km of fibre optic cable has been laid out in the City as a backbone of the smart city initiative to provide high-speed broadband and connectivity.”
Residents will gain access to 500MB of data per day and will be capped at a speed of 5Mbps, which is actually more than we would have expected. The 84 hotspots spread out across the city will be powered by solar panels and will be maintained by the Metropolitan Trading Company.
When exactly we can expect the city’s free Wi-Fi service to begin operating at full capacity remains to be seen. For all we know, it could be pushed back even further but at the time of writing, we’re hoping for a mid-2021 rollout.