In a ground-breaking initiative, the Western Cape Government, State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Neotel, have concluded an agreement to provide broadband services to over 2,000 government sites across the Western Cape over the next 2-3 years, initially with 10Mbps speeds per site and then upgrading to 100mbps, 1Gbps and some at 10Gbps.
The project is a first-of-its-kind in South Africa and has strict guidelines to deliver sites and service levels in a true public-private partnership, by leveraging the skills, resources and expertise of each party for the provision of Broadband services across the Province.
Sunil Joshi, MD & CEO of Neotel, said, “Neotel is delighted and humbled to be chosen by Western Cape Government and SITA to deploy fibre optic infrastructure across the Province for the provision of broadband and voice services to Government departments and also make available these services to communities, businesses and households to create a connected Province. The Western Cape Government is focused on realising its vision for the Western Cape and Neotel is extremely pleased to play the role of a partner to make the vision a reality.”
The initiative is a direct outcome of the Western Cape Provincial Government’s vision 2030 to have broadband across all wards, and have each constituent able to benefit from broadband in their daily lives.
As part of the project, Neotel will provide connectivity to over 2,000 sites across the Province comprising a mix of government buildings, schools, healthcare institutions, libraries, as well as administrative offices of the WCG to provide connectivity across the Province.
“We also expect many large, medium and small businesses, and other government departments to benefit from the infrastructure and connectivity as it is rolled out for their broadband, voice, data centre and VPN requirements,” adds Joshi.
The project will be divided into phases to ensure speed of delivery with 982 sites connected with speeds of 10Mbps by April 2015 and all 2,000 sites will be connected by May 2016. By August 2018, most sites will be connected with fibre and 90% of sites will have 100Mbps speeds and 10% with 1Gbps and above speeds.
The project also includes the deployment of a Voice (Unified Communications) solutions to various offices and upgrading their infrastructure from traditional PABX platform to Neotel’s latest Hosted PBX platform and other solutions. Neotel will offer the latest technology for voice and data that will increase network reliability with optimised maintenance costs.
As part of this strategic project, Neotel has also partnered with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to provide free Wi-Fi services to local communities at a site in each ward during the project and, continuing its commitment to help with social development and uplift communities in the region.
Neotel will also offer its leading edge voice, broadband, VPN and other innovative communication services to local businesses – small or large, Government departments and institutions in the Province and households as it expands its wireless and fibre network across the Western Cape Province, thereby developing the communities, and through enterprise development, exposing entrepreneurs to new opportunities for growth and developing sustainable skills.
This is an exciting and ground breaking project that will create a truly connected Western Cape and be a leading example in South Africa for projects of a similar nature.