Plans to make the City of Johannesburg a ‘digital city’ started many years ago, but despite the slow pace some progress has been made. In March last year the City of Joburg announced that the first phase of the Johannesburg Broadband Network Project (JBNP) would begin on 1 April 2009, and that Ericsson had won the tender to build and manage the network.
At the time Joburg said in a press statement that “Johannesburg will be transformed into a digital city over the next three years resulting in a reduction in the cost of telecommunications, improved service delivery and increased access to information technology to every corner of the City.”
Last year Ericsson said that it had partnered with several very capable local BEE companies to operate and manage the multi-play communications infrastructure network for the next five years. One of these companies, BWired – which will manage the JBNP network – was officially launched yesterday.
ITWeb reported that the project will kick off by building a 900km fibre network which will take around 3 years. It is anticipated that parts of the network will be lit up every six months during the construction process.
“The company had also entered into agreement with several local Internet service providers that could see the network expanded to include international capacity through the likes of City Connect, which – through its parent company – has access to Seacom,” the ITWeb report states.
Orange Farm and Soweto will be the first areas which will be lit and hence benefit from the JBNP.
The BWired domain (http://www.bwired.co.za/) last night displayed only a static html page with the message “Offical [sic] website launch party on the 12th of January 2010 by invite only” and with a large banner informing visitors that the newly formed company is a “Platinum Sponsor of the Johannesburg Open 2010”
As there are no contact details on the BWired website, which supposedly had to be launched “on the 12th of January 2010”, the company could not be contacted for comment
Joburg broadband network project & BWired – comments and views