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As the numbers stand today, the City of Cape Town has provided accelerated internet access to 1 026 290 people and this number is growing daily. Collectively, they have downloaded 24,7 terabytes of data at an average download speed of 30 Mbps over the past three months. Read more below:

Cape Town is getting on with building the most digitally connected city in Africa. The City has to date installed 363 free Wi-Fi zones that are spread out across the metro. A further 60 Wi-Fi zones are planned to go live by June 2017, which will bring the total number to over 400.

Below is a snapshot of the number of unique users:
· 1 026 290: total number of unique users
· 213 080: number of unique users in the last 30 days
· 88 989: number of unique users in the last seven days
· 21 262: number of unique users in the last 24 hours

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services and Compliance, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, says that digital inclusivity is essential in order to connect residents with economic opportunities, online news, social media and other services. Additionally, it helps to deliver improved services to our residents. The free Wi-Fi access points have been installed where residents queue for City services, such as clinics and cash offices.Although the free Wi-Fi service is popular for general web browsing and e-mail, the top four most commonly used applications are YouTube, Google, Facebook and WhatsApp.

‘Cost-effective and high-speed internet access for communities has become a necessity. According to the recent World Economic Forum, the world has entered what is termed the fourth industrial revolution. As a progressive city, we need to ensure that we are ready for this revolution by providing our residents with access to digital literacy and skills. We are on the right path and well prepared for this era. We will therefore continue to honour our commitment and get on with providing free Wi-Fi zones both inside and outside public buildings, and extending these to public spaces across the city. The City has installed the SmartCape service in its 102 public libraries which gives residents free access to the internet to search for learning materials, job opportunities and information for general knowledge.

‘It is quite disheartening to note that many residents, especially learners and students, are being deprived of the opportunity to make use of this free essential service. A number of our libraries have suffered repeated acts of cable theft that have left them without internet connectivity. We condemn such selfish and wanton acts of vandalism which have robbed residents of much-needed digital access. This has led us to think cleverly and come up with an innovative solution. Access to the internet is being switched to our broadband infrastructure, which is a sustainable solution and will ensure that marginalised communities are no longer deprived of accessing the worldwide web as a result of cable theft. The City is therefore investing in connecting all of the City-owned facilities and buildings to its robust broadband network,’ said Councillor Limberg.

The City’s capital budget for its Broadband Network Roll-out Project is approximately R200 million for the current financial year. Most of this budget has been dedicated to installing fibre-optic cables and switching capacity in areas such as Harare, Kuyasa, Khayelitsha, Atlantis, Delft, Lentegeur, Site C, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Hanover Park and Seawinds, where there was previously no broadband infrastructure. This approach results in a lasting asset that will benefit residents for years to come. A number of pilot projects have been run jointly between the City and internet service providers in these areas and others.

The City’s public Wi-Fi service and other digital inclusion projects are part of a broader Digital City Strategy, which aims to make Cape Town the most digitally connected city in Africa. Other elements of the strategy include investment in digital infrastructure, digital business initiatives, and a focus on digital government.

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