Daily one-hour Internet connection coming soon
For one hour every day, Francistowners will soon enjoy free Internet in selected areas around the city.
The exciting digital development was announced by Mayor, Godisang Radisigo in his Monday address of the first Full Council session for the current financial year.
Radisigo revealed the Council has entered into a partnership with Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET) to provide the public with free Wi-Fi as one of their ‘smart city’ initiatives.
“The Wi-Fi will cover Galo Mall, Nyangabwe Hospital, Nzano Centre Mall, Nzwaswi Mall, Bus Rank, Phillip Matante International Airport and the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium,” disclosed Radisigo, noting the choice of hot spots was influenced by the availability of requisite infrastructure.
“Other parts of the city will be covered in future if funds permit,” he added.
Francistown’s first citizen predicted the initiative would open up new opportunities for the local community.
He noted entrepreneurs will benefit through e-commerce, while digitalization of the city’s public services will improve Ghetto’s ‘vitality’ during the digital era.
“The advantage is that equity and equal access to services will be improved as those who have not been able to afford internet connectivity will benefit from the free one-hour per user daily connection. To this end, plans are at an advanced stage to launch the initiative to the public,” said Radisigo, who did not give an exact date for when the scheme would be rolled out.
The Mayor further highlighted providing free Internet in Francistown was in line with the government’s transformative agenda, to achieve faster economic growth anchored on implementation efficiency and effectiveness.
Radisigo said the Ministry Of Local Government and Rural Development was compelled to review its existing five-year strategy in response to several emerging developmental demands from society.
“The new strategy places significant emphasis on monitoring and evaluation which will go a long way in enhancing productivity and addressing the general public outcry that the civil service is underperforming,” he said.
The free Wi-Fi initiative was first launched in Gaborone last October. At the time, President Mokgweetsi Masisi hailed it as, “An imperative that supports the continuous development that’ll make Gaborone a world-class city with improved mobility, better urban amenities and vibrant centres.”
Meanwhile, Francistown council is also in the process of developing a web-based system where services such as rates payments, planning and building permits will be accessible online.