Sunil Joshi, NeotelSunil Joshi, Neotel

As SA inches towards universal broadband in the name of economic upliftment, the Western Cape has
widened its lead with another initiative to advance connectivity in the province.

This time it’s through a public-private partnership between the provincial government, second network operator and the ().

Over a period of about three years, says CEO " rel=tag>Sunil Joshi, the project will see broadband being
provided to over 2 000 government sites across the province, initially with 10Mbps speeds per site and later an upgrade to 100Mbps, 1Gbps, and some at 10Gbps.

He says, as the selected partner for the project, the Western Cape government’s first ask was for
connectivity, quickly. “We will first provide wireless connectivity across the province – as part of the first phase – and then in parallel, deploy fibre. The process will take about three years.”

The roll-out includes 384 WiFi hotspots across the province. According to Western Cape premier , these will cover “almost every ward” in the province and government will subsidise “limited free” access for citizens.

Joshi says the roughly 16 000km network will consist of a combination of existing and new infrastructure. “We will work with local service providers – like Wireless Access Providers’ Association members – as well as with wholesale providers, to leverage existing infrastructure, and where build is required, we will build.”