Cell C, Free State ink public access WiFi deal

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The Free State Provincial Government and Cell C have signed an agreement that will pave the way to public access WiFi for the province's citizens.

In a statement, Cell C says Internet access and digital literacy are widely recognised as enablers of economic participation and improved education.

It notes that this proposed project will provide more South African citizens with faster and more reliable Internet access, especially those from previously disadvantaged communities.

"We firmly believe that there is a positive correlation between the availability of Internet access and the social and economic advancement of communities," says Sisi Ntombela, premier of the Free State.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) sets out the way forward for Cell C's public access Internet hotspots around the province supported by Facebook's Express WiFi platform.

Facebook Express WiFi will help Cell C bring fast, affordable and reliable Internet access to the Free State public and the MOA with the province reflects the success of the project already running in other parts of the country, says Cell C.

"We are pleased to be working with the province in the first stages of this proposed project. Cell C's aim is to bring as many South Africans as possible into the digital economy and give them every advantage through the technologies we can provide," says Cell C CEO, Douglas Craigie Stevenson.

Cell C notes that this platform allows government to reach its constituents with relevant information and in an interactive manner.

Addressing a wide range of economic drivers such as, smart city development, entrepreneurial upskilling in rural areas, youth empowerment, business networking forums, smart tourism opportunities among many others, the operator adds.

According to Cell C, during the extensive deployment of this project more than 20 000 skills transfer hours will be shared with youth across the province.

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