Although the initial plan envisioned Wi-Fi internet access directly into homes, following a technical feasibility proofing and a trial phase in selected locations throughout the city, the city’s telecoms team established that boosters would need to be fitted to each house to deliver the planned results.
Cape Town’s executive mayor, Patricia de Lille, said said that this would not only have been costly to install, it would have also been complex to manage owing to a range of structural factors, as well as weather-related constraints and safety issues.
The technical team also found that custom-building household access networks in this way results in a low number of users per access point. In addition, the deployment of such a network would be complex and too slow. The network would in time have become redundant, given the gradual proliferation of commercial mobile internet services.
However, the city of Cape Town is still planning to expand its Wi-Fi offering to 61 clinics, administration buildings, traffic departments, fire stations and public transport interchanges in Langa, Nyanga, Uitsig, Valhalla Park, Athlone and Atlantis by June 2015.
‘Wi-Fi will be provided both inside public buildings, via our 102 SmartCape Computer facilities, and externally via 61 public access hotspots in areas where members of the public congregate and queue for services’, the executive explained.