Soweto will be the first South African township to get fibre

The Orlando West High School in Soweto, Johannesburg has just received a high-speed fibre Internet connection provided by Telkom.

“The internet will be an enabler for us as learners from the township,” said Orlando High student representative Thatho Mahlatsi.

“The teaching and learning environment will change drastically and [it] will open a whole new world for us.”

Telkom deployed a fibre connection to the school on Friday 17 May, which is also national World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD).

Speaking at the activation, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said the fibre connection at the school marks the start of a broader investment into South Africa’s 26,000 estimated schools.

“Our focus is to ensure that many South Africans are connected to quality and fast internet. With more people connected, the less the data will cost,” Maseko said.

Telkom’s fibre in Soweto

Telkom is also considering partnering with government to roll out a fibre network to public places like schools, hospitals and police stations so that they get connectivity at zero-rated costs.

Maseko said that with the right technology, this fibre connection can contribute to many other sectors and contribute to revitalising the township economy.

In an interview with eNCA, Telkom group communications executive Mooketsi Mochumi said Telkom would continue to roll out fibre to other areas in Soweto, making it the first South Africa township to connect fibre to homes.

“We thought it is important for townships to get that connectivity, the sort of connectivity that you don’t only get it in the suburbs, but we are connecting the rest country as well,” Mochumi said.

Communications Minister Ndabeni–Abrahams also spoke at the event, stating that the government is “moving towards finalising the radio frequency spectrum allocation policy directive”.

“We want to ensure everybody that we are in charge of the process and that everybody will get what they deserve according to the country’s priorities,” Ndabeni–Abrahams said.

Below is the full eNCA interview with Telkom group communications executive Mooketsi Mochumi at the fibre launch event in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Now read: How much you should pay for broadband

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Soweto will be the first South African township to get fibre