Underprivileged communities get uncapped Wi-Fi for R50 per month

The residents of Skemering and Uitkoms retirement homes in Potchefstroom now have uncapped Wi-Fi for R50 per month, thanks to an initiative from Internet provider Wi-5 and the DA.

DA ward councillor Madra de Bruin contacted Wi-5 Wireless Internet Services to initiate the project, the Potchefstroom Herald reported.

Wi-5’s team started the Skemering project on 9 May and went live with it on 23 May.

Uitkoms’ project took even less time to complete — construction started on 31 May, and the service was up and running on 2 June.

For R50 a month per device, residents of the Uitkoms and Skemering retirement centres get access to Wi-Fi with a 5 Mbps download speed and a 2 Mbps upload speed.

Wi-5 told MyBroadband that the service is entirely uncapped, unshaped, and unthrottled, and that the hotspots support 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz connections.

There are 18 access points throughout the Skemering retirement centre and nine at Uitkoms.

The company said using many access points ensures that every resident gets adequate network coverage throughout the retirement centre.

“Our main network engineer developed this central system using TP-Link outdoor access points, with a mix of Mikrotik routing and Ubiquity backhaul technology,” Wi-5 marketing manager Jackie Strydom said.

She said that the backhaul network capacity is currently 300 Mbps, but it could be increased to 1 Gbps if needed.

Strydom also added that Wi-5 could manage this central Wi-Fi system remotely.

“When we took on this project, it was not for financial gain but rather to give a much-needed service to the elder community of Potchefstroom, who is in dire need of affordable Internet access,” Strydom said.

“This enables them to be in contact with their families who are not close by, without breaking their budgets with mobile data or mobile costs,” she said.

Skemering retirement centre.
Uitkoms retirement centre.

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Underprivileged communities get uncapped Wi-Fi for R50 per month