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