Free WiFi ‘can only be a win for Durban’

2014-06-21 00:00

EARLIER this week, MWeb announced that Florida Road would be the first in Durban to be provided with free WiFi, but what does this mean for users, and are there safety concerns?

Ruckus Wireless, responsible for providing the equipment that will allow users access to the Internet via their mobile devices, laptops and tablets, are confident that the free WiFi is only a win for Durban.

Sub-Saharan African director of sales for the company, Michael Fletcher, said the new equipment has been rolled out to other places in the country and said it was likely that the venture would become more common as users cottoned on to the concept.

“Around the world a number of access points are being installed in a single place; towns and cities are even being supplied free Internet … It is an absolute win to have WiFi on Florida Road, especially for those who are stopping by to have a coffee or want to go outdoors and still have connectivity.”

Fletcher said that the N1 City Mall and Canal Walk in Cape Town have already had free WiFi rolled out at both venues.

He also said the company was able to allow multiple users to connect to the WiFi through a large number of hotspots.

Ordinarily, a coffee shop or venue that provides WiFi allows users to connect to the Internet using a hotspot. Florida Road was set up as an area for which a number of hotspots or access points were, thus Ruckus coining the term “hot zone”.

“The greater number of access points allows more users to connect to the Internet with a single access point able to provide 500 users with connectivity. The number of connections to access points is also balanced and spread across many access points to ease the load,” Fletcher said.

Offering peace of mind to those who make use of the service, Fletcher said that there would be no danger at all for users.

“The vendor wireless client isolates those who connect to it; if you connect to Internet you’re only on the Internet and cannot see other devices, while others would not see you …”

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