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.
â€œI think itâ€™s a really, really important initiative that weâ€™ve gotten involved in.
â€œThis is to provide free access to the students and patrons of the taxi rank to enable them to do what they need to do,â€? 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.
â€œWe did a pilot test with commuters, schoolchildren from the surrounding schools and several elderly people and it was so well received,â€? 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.
â€œWe offered to show them and eventually you would see more of them would come and say, â€˜Could you help me set it up?â€™
â€œIt was really, really cool,â€? 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 donâ€™t want to say yes.
â€œThatâ€™s what itâ€™s there for. Itâ€™s important to have access to the internet. They are sitting here for how long of their day, every day and they canâ€™t be on a bus the whole time, so, itâ€™s nice to be able to give these people access to the internet.â€?
At the moment, internet usage in the free Wi-Fi zone is not restricted, but Amobia Communications will be monitoring it to make sure itâ€™s not being abused.