Sun, fun and free internet in local parks

2015-04-29 14:23

Public spaces across ward 57 are set to become Wi-Fi hotspots.

Public internet access is planned for at least the parks, says ward councillor Brett Herron.

“Initially the idea was to provide free Wi-Fi in the two parks that we are looking at turning around. Trafalgar Park is in a re-imagining process aimed at improving its integration with the surrounding communities and improving usage; and Woodstock Town Hall precinct is one of the nodes in my Main Street Project currently being prioritised for implementation,” he says.

Given the proximity of the City of Cape Town’s fibre optic cabling it may be possible to include other parks like Shelley Street, Herron says, subject to a technical assessment.

The installation at the two Woodstock sites are being planned for the next financial year, and additional sites will be dependant on available funding.

“Ultimately I would like for ward 57 to be a ‘smart ward’ with free public Wi-Fi access across the ward and I am busy investigating this possibility,” he says.

In addition to providing access to the internet, Herron also hopes free Wi-Fi in parks will encourage more people to use the facilities.

“This will drive out any potential or actual antisocial behaviour and result in the parks once again being vibrant community spaces that people use and love,” he says.

Upper Woodstock Residents’ Association spokesperson Laura Meyers says: “Internet access is very expensive in SA, so having a convenient place to access the internet will be of great benefit to all Woodstock residents.”

Access to the internet by all “has long been identified as a game changer” for developing access to opportunity and information, Herron explains.

“There can be few who can today deny how access to information, using the internet, has become an integral and fundamental part of their lives and of the daily life of us all. Providing public access to the internet – free – in public spaces such as parks will to some extent address the barrier of access to information and assist those who are studying or looking for work or looking for information,” he says

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