Gauteng MEC Barbara Creecy announced a broadband budget boost of R333 million for the Gauteng network project.

Service provider Altron, a subsidiary of Altech TMT was awarded the R1.2 billion network building and operations contract in February 2014. The project aims to modernise public service and speed up connectivity of provincial government sites by the end of this financial year.

The network will connect provincial government buildings, their regional satellite offices and hospitals, among other state services and buildings. Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital is one of the distribution sites from which other buildings will connect. Moreover, the network aims to cover 95% of Gauteng’s population and will use 1,600km of high-speed fibre-optics.

According to IT web, once implemented the new network could reduce the Gauteng telecoms bill by R150 million per year. Previous attempts to roll out the network with projects such as  G-link and the Blue Umbrella struggled to deliver, now “the project is running six months ahead of schedule and has a return on investment in 17 months,” said Altron’s group executive for technology and strategy, Willie Oosthuysen.

The Gauteng network is scheduled for completion in under five years.

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