Some parts of Gaborone where the Botswana Fibre Network (BoFiNet) has some internet hot-spot infrastructure will soon enjoy an hour-long free internet, courtesy of the Gaborone City Council (GCC).
The free internet follows a strategic partnership between GCC and BoFiNet in which the latter will offer free one-hour public WI-FI internet access to the general public on existing BoFiNet WI-FI infrastructure.
Segametsi Kebonang – GCC mouthpiece said this week that the provision of internet hotspots will go in a long way in ensuring that the community of Gaborone access information which will enhance creativity and innovation which she said is vital for economic diversification. Botswana is currently heavily reliant on exports of precious stones – diamonds as her number one revenue earner. The arrival of Covid 19 has however exposed the over reliance on minerals revenue forcing government to look to other sectors as Information and Technology (ICT).
“It is with this initiative that the council wishes to also enhance service delivery by inter, alia providing access to its services online”, Kebonang said.
GCC is expected to host the launch of the free internet at the main mall on Friday where President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to be the guest speaker.
Basic broadband connection in Botswana remains incredibly expensive and is ranked among the highest on the African continent. However, the government through the National Broadband Strategy, spearheaded by BoFiNet have undertaken projects to improve the country`s connectivity. BOFINET projects such as FTTH and FTTx, which are ongoing, are expected to enable Batswana to have access to the internet at the comfort of their homes and offices in 2020 and beyond.
The GCC-BoFiNet launch also comes at a time when the Alliance for Affordable Internet has warned that without urgent action to accelerate progress, the global community would not achieve its goal of affordable, universal internet access until 2042 — over 20 years past the target date of 2020.