Riding the digital highway


The City of Cape Town is committed to providing digital access to communities, such as free Wi-Fi both inside and outside public buildings at a number of hotspots in the city.  

In October 2014 the city engaged with three commercial service providers (MWEB, Orange and Internet Solutions), through a supply chain management process to bridge the digital divide for communities throughout the metro. MWEB has provided an uncapped data service for the trial period. Orange initially offered 200MB of data per day per person, and that has subsequently been increased to 3GB per person per day as from 2 February 2015. Internet Solutions has offered a free data service of 50 MB per day per person.

The statistics for January 2015 revealed that Orange has attracted the highest number of clients at 9 872, followed by MWEB with 3 530 and Internet Solutions with 252. To date, the total number of unique devices accessing the network is more than 28 000.

Interestingly, although MWEB has fewer clients in comparison to Orange, the usage has been much higher. A total of 3,2 TB of data was downloaded via MWEB and 126,13 GB was used via Orange.  

The top three applications used 1,4 TB of downloads via BitTorrent and 546,56 GB for streaming media on YouTube, while 152,99 GB was used for cloud storage on Google Drive.

The most used search engine was Google (42,56 GB), followed by Bing (918,38 MB) and Yahoo (408,25 MB).

Samsung Push Messaging, WhatsApp and Skype showed the highest usage in terms of real-time and cloud communication applications.

By the end of June 2015, 61 public hotspots will be available in buildings where members of the public congregate and queue for municipal services. To date, public Wi-Fi services are operational at the Hillstar administrative building, Plumstead administrative building, Harare Library in Khayelitsha, and the Cape Town Civic Centre.  

In addition 69 Wi-Fi access points (outside) are currently operational in the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain areas that will bring this number to 130 across the metro by June 2015.  

(Credit: the City of Cape Town)


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Issue 68