eThekwini municipality moves forward with free public wi-fi programme

The eThekwini Municipality has moved into the first phase of its plans of installing free public wi-fi hotspots across the city of Durban.

Places that are up for consideration include the Warwick Junction, beachfront and Florida Road, among others.

A testing phase of the project is set to launched soon in the Warwick area.

Users will be expected to take a brief online survey before connecting, with activation stations used to assist the public to connect and make them aware of the service.

Head of the Information Management Unit at the municipality, Robert Dlamini, said commuters and those living, working and visiting the Warwick Junction area could soon be connecting to free wi-fi courtesy of the city.

"The project is in line with the city's Smart City Initiative which has already enabled its residents to connect at public facilities and all Municipal libraries.

"This current phase sees the activation of key inner-city precincts/areas which will seek to connect its users to fast, reliable internet services while transiting through the inner-city space."

A small team of graduates will also undertake additional surveys in the area, to ascertain the user experience associated with the service.

The testing phase will assist in giving feedback to improve the service that is being provided.

Programme Manager of Urban Renewal, Soobs Moonsammy said this forms part of the city's Inner Regeneration Programme, a R62 billion initiative launched last year that seeks to unlock Durban's central business district's economic potential.

"Having wi-fi in the area promotes Durban as a forward-thinking and technologically advanced smart city.

"Besides being attractive to investors, the project has huge benefits to communities who visit, live, work and commute through the area, injecting a new and tangible value for users," she said.

"The free wi-fi will support needs of the formal and informal traders in the area and be beneficial to the huge student population in close proximity by giving them access to internet and information that could positively impact their lives."

This article first appeared on Berea Mail and was republished with permission.

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