View Full Version : #Western Cape Broadband Infrastructure Project
September 21st, 2010, 12:50 AM
Cape Town Broadband Infrastructure Project promises to cut telecoms prices and bump up average connection speeds from 0.3 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Municipal telecommunications and broadband networks have not lived up to their hype in South Africa, but one local city is set to not only boost their own broadband bandwidth but also provide affordable point-to-point fibre access to ISPs and companies.
Cape Town’s Broadband Infrastructure Project – which aims to serve the city’s telecoms needs and boost economic development – is progressing well and promises to revolutionize bandwidth availability in the city.
Cape Town’s Telecommunications Manager Leon Van Wyk told delegates at the recent ISPA iWeek conference that their 500 km open access optic fibre network is nearing completion and will sport numerous switching centers around the municipality.
The Metro area MPLS and VoIP communications network will initially link 60 Cape Town city buildings with each other and the Internet at 1Gbps – a massive boost from the current bandwidth speed averages of 0.3 Mbps.
According to Van Wyk this network will also go a long way to reduce the city’s telecoms bill of around R110 million per year. While the cost of the first phase of this project is a hefty R125 million, it is likely to quickly pay for itself in both cost savings and increased service levels.
Good news for commercial network operators and ISPs is that ECS and ECNS license holders will get access to this network.
The city will offer a variety of services to telecoms licensees, including:
1) Rent unlit fibre pairs between switching centres
2) Rent fibre from any fibre distribution point to any nearby building (up to 300m, subject to viability)
3) Connect their own fibre to a switching centre
4) Rent unlit fibre on a cross-connect ring to the exchanges of the national networks
5) Rent rack space in switching centres for transmission equipment
6) Buy 100Mbps or 1Gbps circuits between switching centres
The City of Cape Town will however not provide any services to end users. Van Wyk explained that ISPs and other operators are better positioned to provide consumer services, and they will have access to both the Cape Town fibre network and the switching centers to reduce their costs and provide broadband services to consumers.
Cost of fibre access
Van Wyk also revealed the costs associated with access to their fibre network. The costs are as follows.
- Unlit fibre between switching centres averages R2.40/pair/metre/month
- Unlit access fibre to buildings will cost up to R70,000 to install (≤300m) and R3.00/pair/metre/month thereafter
- Half rack (21U): R4,030/month
- Full rack (43U): R7,820 (1.5kW) or R10,040 (6kW)
- R22,800/pair/month with full redundancy
Ethernet ‘circuits’ between switching centres
- 100Mbps: ± R61/Mbps e.g. Cape Town – Bellville R7,659
- 1Gbps: ± R30/Mbps e.g. Cape Town – Bellville R38,295
Van Wyk pointed out that the first phase of the network will lay the foundation for the city’s telecoms plans, but that this is merely the beginning.
“As we connect more City buildings we will lay more fibre throughout Cape Town, including poorly served areas,” said Van Wyk. “We will also build more switching centres which will serve the City’s needs and to stimulate economic development.”
“Cape Town will become one of the most connected cities in Africa,” Van Wyk concluded.
The first phase of the Cape Town Broadband Infrastructure project is due for completion December 2010.
Source: My Broadband (http://mybroadband.co.za/news/telecoms/15287-100-Mbps-Gbps-fibre-pricing-revealed.html)
September 21st, 2010, 01:15 AM
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September 21st, 2010, 10:20 AM
September 21st, 2010, 10:54 AM
^^ Thanks. Was interested to see where they were running fibre.
September 21st, 2010, 11:06 AM
Things I do for you.
September 27th, 2010, 02:14 PM
Broadband to enhance city efficiency
Being ‘virtually well connected’ is essential for a modern metropole and its citizens, writes Lorelle Bell
CONNECTIVITY – in how
buildings, spaces and transport
networks function as
much as in the intangible
technological sense – is a vital element
in creating an open, accessible
and efficient city.
This is the essence of the City of
Cape Town’s Broadband Infrastructure
Network, which will provide
“dark fibre” – hireable optical fibre
– on an open-access basis. This has
the potential to provide us all with
far more affordable and effective
internet and telephone connectivity.
The City of Cape Town’s Information
Systems and Technology
Department anticipates that by
December, a ring of fibre is set to
light up Cape Town’s voice and digital
connections when the first phase
of the Broadband Infrastructure
Network goes live. Hundreds of kilometres
of fibre cables are being laid
to provide this infrastructure.
The network will link the computer
and telecommunications facilities
of 52 municipal buildings from
the CBD to beyond Milnerton to
Parow and Bellville, through the
Klipfontein corridor and back to the
CBD, providing vastly improved
connectivity for the city and cutting
telecommunication costs tenfold.
From May, the Civic Centre and
the Cape Town Stadium were linked
to provide more efficient connectivity
during the World Cup. Fibre
cables were also laid at IT stations.
By laying its own network, the
council will cease to be dependent
on an external service provider,
enabling direct links between city
facilities and substantially reducing
the costs of linking city facilities to
external networks as well.
By 2014, the whole of the city will
be connected – from Atlantis
through Kraaifontein to Gordon’s
Bay and Simon’s Town – through the
city’s 600 sites, including clinics,
municipal buildings and libraries.
This Broadband Infrastructure
network will deliver extensive
additional capacity, which will be
sold to cellphone and internet service
providers, who will then be able
to provide increased bandwidth to
everyone at more affordable rates.
Service agreements with the providers
will ensure that cost savings
are passed on to consumers.
The project is expected to bring
major economic and social benefits
to the city.
Local politicians have dubbed
Cape Town the future “silicon hub of
Africa”, speculating that the project
will bring foreign investment to the
city. Telecommunications costs have
long been held to be a business and
The fibre network, with the
installation of fibre-optic cables by
some private telecommunications
companies, will dovetail with the
Seacom undersea fibre-optic cable,
which, stretching along the east
coast of Africa, links South Africa to
Europe and India.
The network will extend the
City’s Smart Cape Access Project,
launched six years ago to widen
internet access. Studies at the time
showed that about 14 percent of
Capetonians had access to computers
and the internet.
In an effort to extend access and
digital packages to the rest of the
population, the municipality placed
five computers in 100 libraries
throughout the city and library
members were given a daily ration
of 45 minutes’ internet time. In a
partnership with libraries, membership
at libraries increased tremendously
as more than 200 000 people
registered to access the internet
through this project.
By 2014, public access to computers
and the internet through municipal
buildings is expected to be provided
through the foyers of some
council building, such as clinics.
Wifi hotspots will also be available.
A number of individuals and
small businesses have gained opportunities
they would not have had
without their access to the Smart
The city and provincial department
of economic affairs and
tourism are consulting around a
provincial fibre network. It is hoped
this will mean that schools, which
are controlled by the province, will
also ultimately be able to tap into
and benefit from the network.
A third new city project is linked
to this greater connectivity – the
Cape Town Portal aims to connect
Capetonians to all financial data,
improving financial interactions
between citizens and the city. Future
interactions will be possible through
mobile technology, and the city is
even speaking about using MXit.
Improved and cheaper connectivity
should make doing business in
Cape Town more affordable and
encourage investment. It should also
potentially improve service delivery.
But poorer communities also stand
to benefit from more affordable and
The questions we need to ask (and
answer) relate to the economic, social
and education opportunities this
project has the potential to unlock,
and how we are going to make sure
that the benefits accrue to the broadest
cross-section of citizens.
The challenge to citizens is to consider
what opportunities the improved,
more affordable broadband
access and telephony could deliver,
and how to ensure that benefits
accrue to the broader population.
This is where design and designers
What economic and
entrepreneurial activities will be
unleashed through the network?
● Lorelle Bell is the World Design
Capital co-ordinator at the Cape
September 27th, 2010, 02:20 PM
I assume this would greatly boost the COP17 event if we win the bid, since various sites in the CBD will be used, connectivity for media will be quite important.
Would be cool if during the event there are Wi-Fi zones and free internet zones for the publics, media, delegates etc.
September 27th, 2010, 02:39 PM
GREAT NEWS - 2014! Hope Jozi and Durban will do the same. I think Jozi already started their Wireless city plan..
September 27th, 2010, 02:46 PM
November 1st, 2010, 02:55 PM
Phase 2 of Broadband Project coming soon. Hold thumbs.
November 10th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Phase 2 of Broadband Project coming soon. Hold thumbs.
Cape Town Looks To Boost Connectivity Infrastructure
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Comments: 0
The City of Cape Town is considering proposals to expand the city’s fibre-optic infrastructure, reports the Cape Argus. The need to expand the fibre-optic network is seen as critical with mayoral committee member Belinda Walker saying :” You can't have a city without tarred roads and a water supply, and we have reached a point where you can't have a city without really good fibre-optic connectivity”. Walker said she would push strongly for resources to aid in this regard.
The city is in the middle of an fibre-optic expansion project that will see 50 city buildings connected to a high speed broadband network. The network will carry all telephone calls between the buildings and be linked to the strategic surveillance cameras and integrated rapid transit stations. A mooted second phasd will extend the network to the metro south-east region, up the West Coast as far as Melkbosstrand and Atlantis, and to the south peninsula as well as the northern suburbs. It is envisaged that the network will eventually cover all of Cape Town. The entire cost of the project is expected to come in at around R382 million.
November 10th, 2010, 11:32 AM
i need a loop to my farm by windmeul
March 1st, 2013, 09:09 AM
Free broadband for the Western Cape update
February 28, 2013
Helen Zille has provided an update on the Western Cape government’s plans to provide free broadband for all
Western Cape premier Helen Zille said in her state of the province speech (22 February 2013) that they are on track to begin delivering broadband services to under-serviced areas by the end of 2014.
According to Zille, the feasibility and design study for the wireless mesh project in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Saldanha Bay will also be finalised by the end March 2013.
“Once we have implemented this project, by the end of 2014, these areas will become wireless internet hotspots,” Zille said.
She said that people living and working there will have access to the Internet without having to be connected to a modem or a digital subscriber line.
Zille’s update on the Western Cape broadband roll-out comes just over a year since she first announced their plans to provide broadband connectivity to every citizen in the province.
Another milestone for the project is that 70% of provincial government buildings, rural libraries and schools will be connected by the end of 2014.
“Thousands of people will experience for the first time, what it means to live in a connected, open, opportunity society,” Zille said.
Source: MyBroadband (http://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/71450-free-broadband-for-the-western-cape-update.html)
March 27th, 2013, 08:12 AM
R53 million for Western Cape broadband
March 26, 2013
The Western Cape government has allocated a budgeted amount of R52.746 million for its Broadband Initiative in 2013.
This far outweighs a budget of R15.9 million up to 2016 for Gauteng’s broadband initiative as announced by the province’s MEC for Finance, Mandla Nkomfe earlier in March.
Alan Winde, the minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism briefly detailed the figure at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s budget for 2013/14 on Friday (22 March).
“Speaker, infrastructure plays an important role in promoting growth. A lack of adequate infrastructure can hinder potential growth, weaken international competitiveness and adversely affect poverty reduction rates.
“That is why in the year ahead, we will enhance strategic infrastructure in our province with an allocation of R78.826 million. This amount includes earmarked allocations of R52.746 million for the Broadband Initiative,” Winde said.
In February Western Cape Premier Helen Zille announced plans to connect every citizen in the Cape Town metropolitan area to high-speed broadband by 2020.
Winde told MyBroadband that the government had already connected eight government buildings to its network at speeds of up to 1Gbps.
In the State of Gauteng Province Address on February 25, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane largely ignored the province’s status in reaching its goal of achieving 95% broadband coverage.
Gauteng province is home to 12.3 million people, which represents the largest population in South Africa, accounting for 24% of the national population. The Western Cape meanwhile has a population just north of 5.8 million, and ranks fourth in the country.
Gauteng also accounts for approximately 35% of the national economy, still higher than both the second and third placed contributors, KwaZulu-Natal (15.7%) and Western Cape (14.2%), combined.
In February, in delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Jacob Zuma also only glanced over the telecommunications services and broadband sector.
“Last year, the private and public sector laid about 7,000 new fibre optic cables. The plan is to achieve 100% broadband internet penetration by 2020,” he said.
Source: MyBroadband (http://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/74191-r53-million-for-western-cape-broadband.html)
March 27th, 2013, 08:56 AM
they shoudve considered making cape town cbd an internet free zone in the interim, which could of potentially brought allot more business and investment to the cbd.
June 20th, 2013, 03:39 PM
Wi-Fi for Cape Town townships
Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is currently conducting a feasibility study to make Wi-Fi internet available in Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain.
According to Zak Mbhele, spokesperson for premier Helen Zille, the wireless mesh network is planned to be established by the end of 2014.
"Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain have been identified as 'gap areas' when it comes to internet access and broadband penetration.
"The Western Cape Government wants to narrow the 'digital divide' so that people in poor communities also have equitable access to the opportunities that come from being connected to modern information systems."
Mbhele said because no wireless mesh model of this scale exists in South Africa, it was felt that a pilot project was first needed before considering further rollout into other communities.
The City of Cape Town and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed an agreement last year for a grant from the agency to fund the research of the feasibility study.
Mbhele said the final costs of the project are not yet known but funding is expected to come from a consortium of partners including all spheres of government and private sector ICT companies.
"Improved broadband penetration will create a more enabling environment for investment, economic growth and job creation. Businesses that are reliant on rapid and reliable connectivity will find that Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain becomes attractive sites of operation when they become one of the areas in Cape Town with the most advanced broadband infrastructure in the city and, more broadly in the Western Cape and South Africa."
According to Mbhele new economic opportunities could arise once a conducive context is created like smartphone applications related to municipal services, public transport or community events.
He said learners of Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain will be well-placed to be at the forefront of e-education and be able to access information easily that gives them the advantage to be competitive in the job market or as entrepreneurs.
The Wi-Fi access will not be free but it is likely that free access will be available for a limited period of time or up to a data cap like the first 100MB used. Unlimited free Wi-Fi may also be made available on weekends to attract people to spend their time in a particular area.
Source: News24 (http://www.news24.com/Technology/News/Wi-Fi-for-Cape-Town-townships-20130620)
November 6th, 2013, 01:23 PM
Western Cape Broadband Initiative progress
November 6, 2013
The department of economic development and tourism of the Western Cape government has given an update on its Western Cape Broadband Initiative (WCBBI).
In a progress report about the broadband initiative, the department said it has been “feverishly working away at a number of initiatives” related to the Western Cape Broadband Initiative this past year.
This report gives an overview of the Western Cape Provincial Government’s plan to develop broadband infrastructure in the province, through the adoption of the provincial broadband strategy.
“Having conducted extensive analysis and feasibility studies and tested the market over the course of 2012/13, the holistic Broadband Implementation Plan which was embraced in March 2013 effectively adopted a three stream approach,” the report states.
The three stream approach:
Stream One is responsible for driving Broadband infrastructure provision to the Western Cape Government (WCG). This will ensure that a scalable high bandwidth network connects all provincial government buildings (including schools) through a long-term contract.
Stream Two is responsible for ensuring that the Economic/Value Added Stream (VAS) goals of the WCG continue to take place, and is driven by DEDAT. Stream Two comprises of the following sub-programmes: Connected Communities, Connected Business, Connected Households, Connected Municipalities, Connected Leadership.
Stream 3 is an application development stream, driven by the Department of the Premier: Centre for e-Innovation (CeI) or the Line-Function Department as is necessary. This stream includes supportive systems, processes and other applications to run on new bandwidth provision.
Stream One update
The WCG will be contracting a service provider to provide a broadband network service for connectivity to all Provincial Government buildings and other facilities across the province of the Western Cape.
The service provider is expected to deliver last mile layer 2 services throughout the Western Cape which includes the footprint of approximately 1961 sites that are currently being planned for the Western Cape.
The key connectivity targets for connected government (including schools) are as follows:
50% completion by December 2014
75% completion by June 2015
100% completion by Dec 2015
A tender bid was issued by SITA in May 2013, on behalf of the WCG, for the provision of broadband services to all provincial government buildings.
SITA is currently in the process of evaluating the tender and it is expected that SITA will provide the WCG with a preferred bidder by November 2013.
Stream Two update: Connected Households
The objective of Connected Households is to create a model for an open access network (including last mile infrastructure) enabling broadband services to be delivered to households (citizens) and businesses.
The Saldanha Wireless Mesh is a pilot project to deploy an alternative ‘open access’ last mile infrastructure aimed at poorer communities.
The feasibility study was finalised in June 2013. A tender for the pilot is being drafted by DEDAT and will be issued by the Saldanha Bay Municipality during November 2013.
The full progress report is available here: Western Cape Broadband Initiative progress (http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/572705-Western-Cape-Broadband-Initiative-progress)
Source: MyBroadband (http://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/91159-western-cape-broadband-initiative-progress.html)