Free Soweto Wi-Fi network launched

The Soweto Wireless User Group (SOWUG) has left behind its days as a private network and announced it is rolling out a Wi-Fi network that offers free access to residents.

“With the cost of outdoor equipment being high for residents of Soweto, we decided to launch free access to Internet for users to be included in the digital economy,” SOWUG founder Jabulani Vilakazi said.

Vilakazi said their ability to offer Internet access is in large part thanks to a donation from vendor-neutral data environment provider Teraco, who offered to host SOWUG as part of its Enterprise and Supplier Development Initiative.

“[Teraco] provided cabinet space and power, connecting us to what is most definitely a global standard data centre,” Vilakazi said.

An interconnect from Vox Telecom then makes it possible for them to provide Internet access.

The roll-out forms part of a number of development projects facilitated by the Foundation for Internet Development, which was formed by ZACR, Ispa, Wapa, and ISOC-ZA.

SOWUG is rolling out hotspots in partnership with Quick Wireless Connect, with 10 hotspots active at launch backed by 15Mbps of backhaul capacity.

Vilakazi said they plan to upgrade their capacity to 30Mbps within the next 3 months.

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Free Soweto Wi-Fi network launched