300 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces – almost 8000 users per day
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The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) said that it has successfully installed 300 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces across Gozo and Malta over the past years. During 2016, more than 2,500,000 end-users accessed these Wi-Fi hotspots, that is almost 8000 users per day.
The Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Emmanuel Mallia said today that “although we reached the target of 300 hotspots by end of this year, as established in the electoral manifesto, the government is striving to improve and increase the network by installing 100 more connections during the year 2017, therefore aiming to reach 400 Wi-Fi points. This will be placing Malta well on track to becoming a leading Wi-Fi state.”
Coordinated by the MCA in collaboration with other public entities, this initiative essentially facilitates access to the internet through a secure broadband connection and promotes the use of connected devices. The hotspots are installed in information centres, public libraries, public gardens, town squares and local councils.
Every connection is filtered in order to prevent illegal content reaching the end-user, especially minors. These free Wi-Fi hotspots are easily identifiable as each hotspot is signposted. A mobile application can also be downloaded in order to identify the closest hotspot to any given location.
Minister Malila emphasised that “whilst this is a positive development, we still have 22% of our population that is not online, so therefore we need to aim higher.”
“Projects such as this which result in the widespread availability of Wi-Fi services not only serve to encourage people to get online, but also add greater value to Malta’s value proposition and attractiveness, particularly in the tourism industry,” he added.
The Minister concluded by saying that. “this government has long acknowledged the importance of digital inclusion and has placed this high on its agenda. This initiative will ensure that the internet is accessible to everyone. Malta is among the front runners in Europe in terms of nationwide availability of high-speed broadband services. This is the result of a forward-looking regulatory regime, as well as continued investment by industry players.”
This following table gives a snapshot of the most popular hotspots:
Location and total number of users in 2016
MARSALFORN MCA MENQA POLICE STATION 53081
XLENDI MCA SAINT SIMON STREET 36889
GHAJNSIELEM MCA LORETU SQUARE 33289
VICTORIA MCA INDEPENDENCE SQUARE 32839
BUGIBBA MCA BUGIBBA SQUARE 121655
VALLETTA MCA ST GEORGES SQUARE 98994
PACEVILLE MCA ST. GEORGES BAY 84094
BALLUTA MCA TAORMINA AREA 60522
SLIEMA MCA ANNE SQUARE 55771
MARSASCALA MCA MIFSUD BONNICI SQUARE 52652
BALLUTA MCA TOWER ROAD 52405
GOLDEN BAY MCA 48598
ST JULIANS MCA BALLUTA SQUARE 47246
VALLETTA MCA UPPER BARRAKKA 46936
SLIEMA MCA FERRIES 45719
PAOLA MCA A. DE PAUL SQUARE 40568
BIRZEBBUGA MCA PRETTY BAY 40235
MARSA MCA OPEN CENTRE 39199
MOSTA MCA ROTUNDA SQUARE 37862
MARSAXLOKK MCA POMPEII SQUARE 32316.