The City of Johannesburg will tomorrow (February 26) issue an RFI to select a private sector partner for the development of the Joburg Broadband Network Project (JBNP) which is aimed at bringing down the city's telecommunications costs and improving service delivery. 

Joburg is the most densely populated and urbanised municipality in South Africa with nearly 3.5-million residents and an annual budget of R21-billion.
“The development of a City-wide broadband network has been in the pipeline for some time and is in line with international trends in municipal broadband deployment," says Douglas Cohen, the City's project consultant for ICT sector support at its Department of Economic Development. "Cities around the world are increasing the availability and accessibility of telecommunications to improve service delivery, education and economic development.
“The network is also vital to cater for the City’s needs leading up to the 2010 soccer World Cup and the anticipated demand for telecommunications at that time.”
Jabulani Zimu of the City Office of the CIO adds: “The purpose of the Broadband project is primarily to build a strong IT infrastructure for the City and, secondly, to bring ICT closer to the citizens at a cost-effective price by selling off spare capacity.”
Broadly, he adds, it will enable the establishment and running of businesses to be cheaper because of lower communication costs, and allow for free civic Internet zones.
“The [RFI] process aims to identify a suitable partner who will not only bring the required funding, but have the skills to manage a telecommunications and IT infrastructure business based on open standards," Zimu says. "They will also need to identify market needs and attract the target market.”
Copies of the RFI are available from the contracts section on the 15th floor, Metropolitan Centre, Braamfontein. A compulsory briefing session will take place on the 8 March at 10:00am at the SA National Museum of Military History, 22 Earlswold Way, Saxonwold, Johannesburg.
For more information, visit http://www.joburg.org.za/help/tenders.stm or contact Douglas Cohen on (011) 358 3870 or douglasc@joburg.org.za.