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Tshwane free Wi-Fi TV – TV by the people, for the people, on the people’s network

The City of Tshwane has added another trailblazing project to its name with the launch of the WiFi TV, a Video-On-Demand service made available over the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The WiFi TV is another pioneering project geared towards positioning Tshwane as a Smart City by using technology to bridge the digital divide, engage communities on government affairs and bring about social cohesion. 

Local crews have been recruited and trained to create videos covering local topics including music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport in the townships of Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and the Tshwane CBD.

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These videos are then uploaded to Tobetsa, the content portal for the Tshwane Free WiFi network, and then made availabel to all users of the Free WiFi network.

Describing the WiFi TV as pioneering, The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa said “the product will break new ground by using technology to promote e-learning while entertaining users. A very important aspect of the WiFi TV is that the filmmakers were previously unemployed; they are now putting their talents to good use and gaining the necessary skills to help them flourish in their careers.  The Free WiFi network has opened a myriad of job opportunities, and going forward we will expand WiFi TV into the Tshepo 10 000 job creation plan.”

“We have recruited and trained young people to walk out their back doors and make video content about their communities, for their communities, telling local stories and reflect local realities. WiFi TV will not only give communities a voice but will also give them access to entertaining and informative content” said Ramokgopa.  

Besides sports results, guides to what’s on and what happened at local events, Tshwane WiFi TV helps profile and promote local business and inform people about what the city is doing.

“WiFi TV is all about showing how Free WiFi networks can be used to distribute hyper-local news within low-income communities” said Alan Knott-Craig Jr, CEO and founder of Project Isizwe, a non-profit organisation that helps government administrations deploy Free WiFi networks.

In addition, The City of Tshwane announced today that further services such as Wi-Fi Voice will be available in September 2015 which will enable free calls between users connected to the Tshwane Free WiFi network while using the WiFi Voice application.

During 2016, a WiFi Drive Inn will be introduced for each region of City of Tshwane. The initial service for WiFi Drive Inn will be launched in April 2015. This service is video-on-demand at specific locations that will allow one to watch movies within the WiFi Drive Inn area.

The city will be able to gain further insight into the lives of its citizens and communicate directly with them via video without being restricted by the data costs traditionally involved in video delivery.

In the future additional channels will be added to WiFi TV, offering more relevant content to people. This will include dedicated music and sports channels.

Tshwane WiFi TV has been live since mid-October 2014, and has had over 180,000 viewers thus far.

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