The City of Joburg Broadband Project is set to go live on the 1st of July 2013 in what could propel Joburg’s ambition of becoming the first Smart City in the African continent.
The promise to go live in July was made by BWired yesterday. BWired is a joint venture between Joburg and global ICT player Ericsson. After rolling out a network of fibre optic cables covering 940km and with core capacity of 1.2Tb, BWired will now operate the network for 12 years.
The project covering all seven Joburg regions promises world class broadband services. It will thus fulfill a critical gap within South Africa’s commercial capital given the appalling status of internet service and standard in the country. While South Africa started well ahead of its African peers on the path towards broadband services it seems to have staggered along the way and may have been overtaken.
As such, the promises coming from the BWired direction will be closely watched. The entity said all civil work was completed at the end of April 2013, with the fibre installation work being at 90% completion at this time. The network build will be completed at the end of May 2013. When the Network goes live on the 1st July 2013, it will offer full WAN accessibility, VPN services, and will bring internet to all of the CoJ buildings in the region. The JBNP will be service ready to transition all of the agreed upon services as of 1 July 2013.
The completion of the fibre optic network will deliver a live network that will immediately be able to offer key services to all municipal buildings connected to the network. BWired also said the CoJ Broadband Project will enable digital inclusion through the provision of affordable broadband to the public.
“This fibre optic network was designed by Ericsson South Africa and uses world class leading technologies utilized in Smart Cities around the world, and marks one of the biggest rollouts of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere”.
It added that the Johannesburg Broadband and Network Project (JBNP) is the realisation of the city’s long term vision of developing the city’s economy which will see the positive stimulation of opportunities for the business sector in terms of small to medium enterprises, effective access to public services, the development of the youth in Johannesburg and increased employment opportunities for all.
“We support the vision of the CoJ, and the completion of this successful build phase on time and within budget, is testament to our commitment to the project and its objectives,” said Musa Nkosi, BWired CEO.
“The principle behind this network was to provide ICT communications at a vastly lower cost, not only reducing the CoJ’s communications costs, but enabling the rest of the residents of the city to benefit from the network roll out,” said Nkosi.
Although connecting all of its buildings, the CoJ will only use a small percentage of the projected network capacity, meaning other telecoms service providers, and industry at large can plug into the remaining capacity on a wholesale and open access basis. “We are already working with one of country’s largest mobile service providers with over 200 sites connected and operational to date. We are also running a number of POC’s with Tier 1 ISP’s, as well as other network Operators. This shows how BWired is extending its network’s functionality beyond the CoJ Municipality requirements and realising true inclusion for all within the City of Johannesburg,” added Nkosi.