Free community wireless networks, commonly referred to as WUGs, are continuing to grow in South Africa’s major cities. These networks offer a wide range of free services, including gaming, file sharing, Windows updates, IRC, and e-mail services.
The Pretoria Wireless User Group (PTAWUG), which recently enabled free online radio streaming on its wireless network, has over 1,500 users on its network.
The PTAWUG currently has 109 registered high-sites that spread from Hammanskraal in the North, Noordwyk in the South, Langeberg in the West, and Kameelfontein in the East. The network covers around 257 square kilometers.
The Cape Town Wireless User Group (CTWUG) is also showing strong growth with over 900 active nodes and 14 prominent high-sites. The network covers the full greater Cape Town area, which includes the northern and southern suburbs.
The CTWUG’s Richard Ferreira explained that their aim is to promote the use and understanding of wireless equipment to build a city-wide free wireless network.
“The building of this network forms a social and interactive community where growth and learning are promoted in the fields of wireless and information system technologies. The network is absolutely free for anyone to join from anywhere in Cape Town – all you need to do is buy your kit to connect,” said Ferreira.
“So far we’ve been pretty successful – we have 900 user sites all around Cape Town, from Hout Bay all the way into the Helderberg and deep into the Northern Suburbs – all linked completely with wireless technology through both private and CTWUG owned high-sites and backbones.”
Ferreira added that they encourage anyone interested in joining the network to contact them using the CTWUG website – http://www.ctwug.za.net
“We welcome any and all members, regardless of their technical skills,” said Ferreira.