The City of Joburg Broadband Project will go live on 1 July 2013 after a 3-year rollout project and BWired will operate the network for 12 years.
The completion of the fibre optic network covers all seven regions of the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) municipality, and will deliver a live network that will immediately be able to offer key services to all municipal buildings connected to the network.
The fibre optic network was designed by Ericsson South Africa and uses technologies utilised in “smart cities”” around the world. It marks one of the biggest roll-outs of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere in terms of its 1.2Tbps core capacity and 940km coverage.
The Johannesburg Broadband and Network Project (JBNP) is the realisation of the city’s long term vision of developing the city’s economy to stimulate 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.
All civil work was completed at the end of April 2013, with the fibre installation work being at 90% completion. The network build will be completed at the end of May 2013. When the Network goes live on 1 July 2013, it will offer full WAN accessibility, VPN services, and will bring internet to all of the CoJ buildings in the region.
Musa Nkosi, BWired CEO, says the benefits of broadband to any city are far-reaching including economic growth, the enhancement of the public service offering through e-government, added capacity and efficiencies for private enterprises, social benefits through e-learning, job creation through community portals, and right though to city wide platforms for emergency services.
‚””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,”” said Nkosi. “”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‚””
The CoJ Broadband Project is intended to “”enable digital inclusion through the provision of affordable broadband to the public””.