Anything with the word free scares me, well blame it on past experience. Stellenbosch the small town in the Western cape is about to get free Wi-Fi, this means anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled gadget will be able to use it for free. No registration required, the project will be sponsored by Stellenbosch Municipality, MXit and of course it will be limited as it is not competing with the commercial ISP’s. Pieter Venter said the speed will be limited to 1Mbps and 500MB of daily use, this will of course be piloted in the CBD. MXit’s CEO Alan Knott-Craig Jr. confirmed this and said that MXit will also offer part of its bandwidth to the town.
This leads to some questions…
1. Who will pay for all of this, where did they get the budget?
2. What about the businesses who offer Wi-Fi as part of a package to attract customers?
3. Is this maybe part of a ploy to attract more visitors?
4. How will it impact other ISPs in the area?
5. Will it also be provided in townships?
6. Who will maintain the hardware and support?
7. Who will educate people about using Wi-Fi & the security thereof.
These are just some of the few questions I have, but hopefully this project takes off and other municipalities follow suit and the backing by MXit is a huge advantage. Hopefully this will get service providers to decrease data price in SA as for it’s still a bit expensive. Let’s all pray that Stellenbosch pulls this off without any glitches and let’s look forward to a more connected country.