The City of Cape Town’s free WiFi network is becoming increasingly popular among locals, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors connecting since its inception.

According to the metro, 420 000 unique users have been using the service since the pilot phase began in late 2013 as part of its broader Digital City Strategy.

Facebook and Instagram are the most commonly used applications  while YouTube is the popular online video streaming site. WhatsApp and cloud storage apps are also often accessed on the network.

The City’s mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, recently unveiled the city’s 189th WiFi zone, situated at the Luvuyo Community Health Centre in Makhaza.

“My view is that access to cost-effective and high-speed internet is essential to connecting residents with economic opportunities, and with online news, social media and other services. It is an important foundation for our budding entrepreneurs,” Limberg said in a statement.

“Today, running a business does not mean that you have to be confined to an office. It can be effectively managed while on the go. Digital access has often previously been out of reach for many people in our communities,” Limberg added.

Most of the city’s R218 million budget for the service has been dedicated to installing fibre-optic cables and switching capacity in areas such as Harare, Kuyasa, Khayelitsha, Atlantis, Delft, Lentegeur, Site C, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Hanover Park and Seawinds, where there was previously no broadband infrastructure.

You can see where all WiFi zones are located in the city on this map.

[Image – CC 2.0 by Jonathan Grado]