REVIEW ONLINE / 04 SEPTEMBER 2018 - 11.41 / NELIE ERASMUS
The Wi-Fi service is plug and play, and you need no password to connect to the hotspot
POLOKWANE- The Provincial Government has launched free Wi-Fi last week Friday as part of the implementation of the broadband telecommunication network infrastructure.
The free Wi-Fi service will provide a unique opportunity for the people of Limpopo to become active participants in the knowledge economy. Photo: Pixabay
The free Wi-Fi service will provide a unique opportunity for the people of Limpopo to become active participants in the knowledge economy, said spokesperson Phuti Seloba.
“The free Wi-Fi is initially to be provided at Library Gardens and at the Polokwane Municipality’s offices. The Wi-Fi service is plug and play, meaning the users will need no password to connect to the hotspots within these two areas. This service will provide users with 250mb of data daily,” Seloba explained.
“The free Wi-Fi located at the Library Gardens, which is in the proximity of Limpopo department of Home Affairs, Financial Hub and Provincial Government Communication Information Services offices (GCIS), will provide students, unemployed graduates, SMMEs and all citizens with access to global data and information to advance their academic assignments and research, employment searches, and market researches for business development.”
He added that at this stage more than 90% of libraries in Limpopo are equipped with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to enhance reading and learning experiences.
“ICT infrastructure projects in the province, when rolled out, will support poverty reduction strategies by informing policy making, facilitating citizen to government transactions and public sector reforms and promoting participation and accountability. Information and knowledge will be provided to rural populations and to empower local development agents to serve the poor. A variety of informational and connectivity advantages will accrue to the poor through improved operational capacities of the specialized local agencies,” he concluded.
Benefits for the various sectors are as follows:
The infrastructure will facilitate the electronic rural information system which will connect farmer’s organizations, local cooperatives, rural municipalities, NGOs, and local government extension agencies to the Internet. The transmission of information on prices, markets, inputs, weather, social services, and credit facilities will be far much better than using traditional methods, reducing transaction costs and inefficiencies, creating a viable land market, enhancing the credit worthiness of farmers and improve the life of the ordinary citizens.
The ICT infrastructure will contribute to income generation and poverty reduction by enabling people and enterprises to capture economic opportunities, increasing process efficiency, promoting participation in expanded economic networks and creating opportunities for employment, providing access to practical information on small business accounting, weather trends and farming best practices, decisions about what crops to plant and where to sell their produce, buy inputs, incomes, access to rural finance, micro-finance opportunities for local people and small enterprises.
Six enterprises (SMMEs) are part of the rolling out of the Broadband project and will benefit 33% of the value of the project in terms of the first phase, which will cover Polokwane Municipality, Capricorn District and provincial identified growth points. In terms of the PPPFA Regulation, for any tender of R30 million and above, a minimum of 30% should be subcontracted to SMMEs. The six enterprises (SMMEs) will be trained to operate trenching machines, lay fibre, connecting all sites, the implementation of the network operating control centre and the call centre in phase one. Currently SMMEs are involved in the renovation of buildings identified for the network operations control centre and call centre earmarked for completion in September.
Benefits for health and education
Once deployed the ICT infrastructure will facilitate remote consultation, diagnosis and treatment. The ICT-facilitated collaboration extends to medical research, health workers in the province will access relevant medical training through ICT-enabled delivery mechanisms and will have access to and keep abreast of rapidly evolving medical knowledge. It will also improve the administrative efficiency of the public health system and improve the efficiency of medical facility administration through, for example, the streamlining of medical procurement or the creation of patient record databases.
The ICT infrastructure will also harness and improve the efficiency, accessibility and quality of the learning process in the province through distance education, enabling increased access to knowledge and more collaborative and interactive learning techniques among other benefits.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER