State telecoms firm expands network

2011-02-15 12:19

Cape Town - Broadband Infraco spent R243m on its national fibre-optic network in 2009/10, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.

The fibre-optic cable network of the state-owned telecommunications infrastructure provider now covers about 12 250km countrywide, he told a media briefing at parliament in his capacity as chairperson of the infrastructure development cluster of ministries.

This also enables South Africa to extend connectivity to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.

Ndebele said the 2010 legacy implementation plan, developed in June 2010, is ready for implementation in February and March this year.

This included the 2010 Fifa World Cup equipment that would be redeployed to two host cities - Cape Town and Tshwane.

Telkom will also redeploy some of the equipment to exchanges in rural areas, and use some of the remaining funds to connect the remaining 125 Dinaledi schools.

Implementation of the project will roll over into April and May.

On digital terrestrial television (DTT), Ndebele said cabinet recently endorsed a Sadc decision to adopt the European second-generation digital video broadcasting (DVB-T2) technology standard for implementing the digital migration process.

The cabinet further adopted December 2013 as the switch-off date of the analogue signal to the digital signal.

This process will contribute to the government's job creation programme in manufacturing, packaging, distribution, installation, maintenance and content production, he said.

The migration process will result in the creation of more TV channels, increasing the demand for more content.

Government intends using the migration process as a catalyst for the resuscitation of the electronics manufacturing industry and to create more opportunities for the content production industry, Ndebele said.