Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, has launched a broadband project in Walmer High School in Port Elizabeth, offering free WI-FI for local residents.
It will use existing infrastructure in the Metro. The project is a public-private partnership between Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Spectrum Utility Management.
Residents of Walmer Township will be able to use the free WI-FI from their homes at a much reduced cost. Phase 1 of the project has been implemented in four areas including Walmer Township, kwaMagxaki, Kuis Rivier and KwaNobuhle.
City manager Johann Mettler says the Metro is planning to use the free Wi-Fi as a fifth utility, called ”B Connected”.
“We’ve taken the approach that we want to treat WIFI as a fifth utility so there would be a free component, a thousand megabytes, for those who register and thereafter, there would then be an additional amount of megabytes available at a much reduced price,” says Mettler.
Mayor Jordaan says this is a first for the country and encourages learners at Walmer High School to use the resources at their disposal.
“This smart grid communication broadband project is about transformation. It’s about unlocking both the information and the opportunities for this metro. So in a sense, this is a game changer. Not just for the school, not just for Walmer but for the Metro,” says Jordaan.
Walmer High School matriculant, Siphesande Nyanga says the free WI-FI will make it possible for them to apply for university admission online and keep up with their curriculum.
There are plans for a roll-out of the programme throughout the Metro in Helenvale, Red Location and Summerstrand by August 2016.