The R1,2 billion Gauteng Broadband Network roll-out, by Altech Alcom Matomo, has reached a key milestone with fibre broadband connectivity to all eight vital core nodes.
These nodes include: 75 Fox Street, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, 82 Grayston Drive, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Imbuba House, Teraco, Telkom Data Centre and Sedibeng District Municipal head office.
The roll-out forms part of the broader digital strategy of the Gauteng Provincial Government as the eight core nodes will connect various network touchpoints that will begin servicing government buildings and community centres.
The network will provide a 10 gigabytes per second core network for connectivity and will introduce upgradable high-speed fibre-optic transmission speeds for Gauteng provincial buildings, schools and community centres to access the network.
By installing broadband technology in Gauteng, the Gauteng Provincial Government has begun the process of bridging the digital divide to ensure greater accessibility to government services. The accelerated connectivity will allow the provincial government to implement its smart provincial initiatives and facilitate ancillary projects such as telemedicine, e-learning, e-government and e-health, amongst others.
By the end of 2015, Altech Alcom Matomo will have connected 263 access sites across Gauteng, including all provincial department buildings and several townships. In addition, 24 community centres including sites at Soweto, Tembisa, Alexandra, Dieplsoot, Kagiso, Vosloorus, Sebokeng, Mamelodi and Hammanskraal will be connected, together with 100 schools.
According to Brett Nash, Managing Director of Altech Alcom Matomo, the Gauteng Broadband Network consists of 4 500km of transmission fibre and 80km of last mile fibre network running throughout Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and the West Rand.
“The roll-out will transform provincial government service delivery through efficiencies and will promote the growth of the ICT sector and other related industries. Additionally, the Gauteng Provincial Government will see significant estimated savings of R162 million per annum,” Nash said.
“The project is based on a build, operate and transfer methodology. Altech Alcom Matomo is responsible for building and operating the network, which will initially provide voice and data services for a significant number of government employees and learners over five years, at which point it will then be transferred to the Gauteng Provincial Government to manage,” Nash added.
Additionally, the broadband network will improve linkages and integration amongst provincial government departments and will enable better access to government services for citizens who live in townships and informal settlements. In particular, by linking schools and clinics in historically marginalised areas such as Thusong, the network will launch the township economy into the digital age.
“Broadband connectivity is an enabler for economic and social growth and this makes it an essential tool for empowering people, creating an environment that nurtures technological and service innovation, and triggers positive change in business processes as well as in society as a whole,” Nash concluded.