Connect to the waves this December - the wifi waves
Beaches in Umhlanga, Durban, have an added attraction: free wifi access
Uploading a selfie directly from your prime spot as you’re sunning yourself on the beach will be a breeze if you’re holidaying in Umhlanga this month.
The posh seaside suburb in the north of Durban is offering free, unlimited wifi on its beaches. Installation at key points along Umhlanga’s renowned promenade was completed last month.
“People need the internet everywhere now. They will spend a lot of time on the beach during the festive period. As part of our community programme we decided to cover those locations with our free wifi service,” said Kalin Bogatzevski of service provider 123NET.
Bogatzevski said the wifii access was installed on the Umhlanga beaches next to the safeguard booths.
123NET will monitor how the wifi performs before considering expansion to other beaches.
The wifi beach concept is also being adopted overseas.
Beaches in Queensland, Australia, will trial a free wifi service this summer. This will will include sending safety notifications to beachgoers in an attempt to reduce drownings.
Unlimited free wifi would be provided at selected beaches, exclusively between red and yellow flags, which signify safe swimming areas.
The connection would also include a live multilingual feed with updates about beach conditions, closures and safe swimming tips to reduce the language barriers which contribute to drownings.
Cara Reilly, of the Umhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct, believes choice and access to information “are marks of good public space and tourism-friendly places”.
“The UIP wants Umhlanga Rocks to provide both those elements.
“We have a range of people from all walks of life out on beaches, some there to build sandcastles and surf, others there to stream music and post pics on social media, and with the free wifi those that want to do the latter have the choice to do so at no cost to them,” said Reilly.