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Business operators bemoan slow Free Wi-Fi By Gary Samati

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Some business persons at Blantyre Market have called upon authorities to improve the free Wi-Fi initiative, saying the facility is usually slow.

Under the Digital Malawi Project, government launched Free Wi-Fi in October last year in some spots in public hospitals, public schools, markets and the two airports through the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) in collaboration with TNM.

A barber at the premise, Aaron Komakoma, told Times Online that despite saving money from not buying airtime for internet usage, the Free Wi-Fi at the market where he conducts business, is only fully reliable on Sundays – when a few people are at the market.

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“The initiative is helping us save money. I only buy airtime for phone calls these days. However, I struggle to use the internet, particularly WhatsApp, during weekdays when there are a lot of people using it. We were hoping that the authorities could improve on that,” he said.

While validating the concern, President of the ICT Association of Malawi, Bram Fudzulani, said there needs to be a review of the implementation of the Wi-Fi initiative so that service delivery is enhanced.

“While there is a need to improve speed, the PPPC should also consider local content to the project. When someone logs into the Wi-Fi, what are the government services that they can access? This needs to be considered. People need to have benefits more than just using the Wi-Fi for entertainment,” he said.

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On his part, Chief Executive Officer for PPPC, Patrick Kabambe told us that efforts are being made to improve speed to cater the growing demand.

According to Kabambe, the country has 31 Free Wi-Fi spots in public schools, markets, hospitals and the two airports.

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