Liquid Telecom SA has announced a partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) which will see an increase in the number of free WiFi hotspots at government buildings.

At present there are 178 free WiFi hotspots at government buildings across 12 municipalities in the Western Cape. The partnership between Liquid Telecom and WCG will see this number increase to 1 600.

This is part of a R3 billion project to provide broadband connectivity to WCG offices, libraries, schools and clinics.

The expanded public WiFi network will see connectivity being available at all municipalities in the Western Cape. What’s more is that the amount of data a device may use will increase from 250MB per month to 3GB per month.

Liquid Telecom SA also says that the WiFi service will be five times faster than the current service.

“Today’s announcement is aligned with Liquid Telecom’s vision to ‘Build Africa’s Digital Future’ providing individuals and communities with high speed internet across cities, towns and villages’. Our partnership with the Western Cape Government is central to this vision – giving every South African the right to be connected with free, reliable and fast internet,” Liquid Telecom SA’s chief executive officer, Reshaad Sha, said in a statement.

The Western Cape’s existing 178 free public WiFi hotspots have proved rather popular with residents. As many as 910 000 devices have been connected to the network since its launch in March 2016.

The new WiFi hotspots will be installed over the next three years and the project will run for five years in total.