Bay residents get free Wi-Fi at taxi rank

2018-07-25 06:01
From left are Prince Matonsi (Project NMB chairperson) and Devereaux Joubert (head: Connected City).Photo:ANIKA DE BEER

From left are Prince Matonsi (Project NMB chairperson) and Devereaux Joubert (head: Connected City).Photo:ANIKA DE BEER

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NELSON Mandela Bay residents who frequent the area in and around the Greenacres taxi rank now have access to free Wi-Fi.

Project Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), a private, good citizenship initiative, partnered with Amobia Communications to makes this initiative possible.

Project NMB was formed four years ago and consists of four task teams and a steering committee, all of which are manned by volunteers.

One of the teams, Connected City, is in charge of the free Wi-Fi zone initiative, which was officially launched on Thursday, July 19.

“I think it’s a really, really important initiative that we’ve gotten involved in.

“This is to provide free access to the students and patrons of the taxi rank to enable them to do what they need to do,” said Lynne van Wyk of Amobia Communications.

Currently there are between 40 and 50 people connected to the Wi-Fi at any given time. The busiest times are at lunchtime and between 15:00 and 18:00.

“We did a pilot test with commuters, schoolchildren from the surrounding schools and several elderly people and it was so well received,” said Michelle Brown, acting CEO of Project NMB.

According to Van Wyk, the children were especially suspicious when told about the free Wi-Fi zone.

“We offered to show them and eventually you would see more of them would come and say, ‘Could you help me set it up?’

“It was really, really cool,” she said.

She said that even when she asks them now if they are using the free Wi-Fi, it always seems as if they don’t want to say yes.

“That’s what it’s there for. It’s important to have access to the internet. They are sitting here for how long of their day, every day and they can’t be on a bus the whole time, so, it’s nice to be able to give these people access to the internet.”

At the moment, internet usage in the free Wi-Fi zone is not restricted, but Amobia Communications will be monitoring it to make sure it’s not being abused.

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