Ever wondered what free Wi-Fi would mean for a South African town? Well Stellenbosch residence will be receiving a pleasant surprise come mid-2012, as Conrad Sidego, mayor of Stellenbosch, announced that an initiative by Mxit, the University of Stellenbosch and Stellenbosch – to provide the town of Stellenbosch with free Wi-Fi internet is in the works.
According to Pieter Venter, Stellenbosch councillor and head of the municipality’s finance portfolio, a trial testing period will start on Friday 24 February 2012 and will include the town centre. After a two-three week run, the network will then extend to the greater Stellenbosch area.
The next phase of the initiative will include all populated areas of Stellenbosch and will reach as far as Franschhoek and Pniel. Venter explained that the core Wi-Fi network is already in place, all that needs to be done now is, put up repeaters closer to residents to “fill in” the network and boost coverage, this also explains the fast six month roll-out.
The service will be completely free and anyone with a Wi-Fi capable device will be able to utilize the service, web services such as browsing, email and VoIP are supported but there are restrictions – as large downloads are prohibited.