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Why public Free WiFi is essential in Africa

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • August 4, 2014

I’ve just returned from vacation where I was staying at a house that had no 3G or WiFi. All I had was Edge. It was like being back on a feature phone.

feature phone

Very, very, very frustrating. Edge is ok for sending short text emails, but attachments seem to clog the system and fail epically, and all other browsing is enough to induce Web-rage.

 

I had to walk 2,5km on a beach to find a bar with Free WiFi. Of course, it’s not free. I had to buy at least one beer. So I did.

beer

What if I didn’t have the money to buy a beer (R19)?

 

What if there wasn’t a bar with Free WiFi within walking distance?

 

What if I couldn’t leave my house for 2hrs because I had no partner to look after my kids?

 

That’s why public Free WiFi is essential. Think of how many people in South Africa (and the world) can’t get on the Internet? They can’t email CV’s, look for jobs, follow up on jobs, they can’t MAKE MONEY!

 

Affordable is not enough. We need free, fast WiFi.