Free Wi-Fi pioneer and non-profit Project Isizwe has launched the second phase of its wireless Internet access project in the Pretoria area, rolling out 213 new “Free Internet Zones” to schools in Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Soshanguve. The project, which is being rolled out with the City of Tshwane, follows phase one, which was implemented in 2013. Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa launched the second phase of the project at Setlalentoa High School in Ga-Rankuwa on Wednesday. The launch included a demonstration of the potential of Wi-Fi to aid learning with study guides from Pan MacMillan loaded onto Huawei tablets showing an example of the power of the Internet in education.
“The City of Tshwane is showing the country that Internet access can be treated as a basic service, the same as water and electricity,” said Project Isizwe CEO Alan Knott-Craig in a statement. “It’s not a question of ‘if’ Internet access will one day be a basic free service for all residents of South Africa, it’s a question of ‘when’. Tshwane is leading the way in showing how to make it a reality sooner rather than later.” Each of these Free Internet Zone (FIZ) locations allow users with Wi-Fi-enabled devices to access free Internet without any logins or passwords. A fair-use policy limits them to a data cap of 250MB per device per day and prohibits access to pornographic content. A specialised content portal, Tobetsa, provides unlimited access to websites such as Wikipedia, Siyavula and Fundza, as well as Gumtree’s job-search portal. Phase three of the project will begin in August and will comprise 400 sites, with an emphasis on health care facilities in low-income communities. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media
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