Cape Town Internet speed increase

The City of Cape Town announced in a press release on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 that it has signed eight third-party service provider agreements for its broadband network.

According to the City, this is a major step in its universal broadband network strategy.

“The fibre optic network has reached the point where it is robust and extensive enough to be leveraged off by the private sector,” the City’s press statement said.

To-date, Cape Town said the network has:

  • Saved it R117 million in costs;
  • Increased its internal internet speed 3,000 fold
  • Connected 43 Western Cape government buildings and 141 city buildings (set to increase to 171 by 2013/2014); and
  • Licensed eight third-party service providers with 20 more planned.

A City spokesperson was not immediately available to say which service providers have been licensed.

Cape Town said that this is of major benefit to those areas currently poorly served with broadband connectivity by service providers.

“It will also bring sustainable Wi-Fi access to previously under serviced communities,” Cape Town said.

According to the City, its fibre optic cables provide the backbone of wireless networks now being tested in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

“Once the technical model has been finalised, this will bring internet connectivity and other telecommunications services to over a million people living in areas which the private sector has not serviced adequately until now,” Cape Town said.

The City added that this project has been developed using the findings of the feasibility study funded by the United States Trade and Development Association (USTDA), which it announced last year.

Some of the technical details of the project are:

  • The Nyanga Switching Centre is currently the largest hub on Cape Town’s broadband network with a potential capacity of up to 2.4 terabits per second of network traffic.
  • The City of Cape Town’s Switching Centres have the added benefit of providing hosting capabilities for external commercial service providers, who in turn provide connectivity for business and individual users.
  • The City is planning to install a large telecommunications mast at the Nyanga Switching Centre which will enable the City and commercial service providers to offer broadband wireless services to the surrounding community.
  • Cape Town’s Broadband network uses the Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing system, which is a legacy inherited from hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010. This system increases the capacity of the fibre network 80-fold by concentrating eighty wavelengths onto a single fibre pair.
  • Every wavelength may be either 10 or 100 Gigabits per second, depending on the terminating equipment used.
  • This switching Centre has a capacity of 240 channels of 10 Gbps each aggregating at this hub

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Cape Town Internet speed increase