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Johannesburg goes digital

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The City of Johannesburg’s R850-million next-generation fibre optic network is on track, with about 300km of fibre already laid and 100 municipal buildings ready to migrate to the network.

The project, which is a joint venture between the City and Ericsson through Bwired, has seen about one-third of the infrastructure completed, with network design set to commence soon.
Once completed, the network will cover between 900km and 1 000km. It will have a capacity of 1Tbps.
The joint venture calls for Ericsson and Bwired to set up the citywide infrastructure over three years and then manage it for the next 12 years. It is self-funding in that the City will pay no more than it currently does for electronic communication, while the network will also connect schools and hospitals. In addition, spare capacity will be made available to businesses and other ISPs.
Significantly, the network will cover the entire City of Johannesburg, including areas not considered profitable by commercial service providers and will thus offer affordable connectivity to every citizen.
Lars Linden, head of Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, comments: “Broadband services are recognised as one of the most critical pillars in the development and improvement of society. This project will significantly change the way the citizens of Johannesburg live and do business.”
Amos Masondo, executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, sys: “We are excited about this initiative and the immense opportunities and benefits it provides t out citizens. We are delighted with the quality of the deployment to date and are looking forward to the new era of enormous socio-economic growth that this project will lead our city to.
“Going digital will result in a reduction in the cost of telecommunications, improved service delivery and increased access to information technology to every corner of the City.”
The optical network is based on Ericsson’s MPLS (multi-protocol label switching_ solution, which will enable the transport of any type of data, video and voice – including dark fibre, lit fibre, Internet and mobile backhaul. It will also allow for the future implementation of IPTV.
During this morning’s launch of the first phase of the network, learners at Westbury Secondary School received an interactive lesson given by a teacher at St Stithians school in Randburg.