Broadband Infraco spent R243m on its national backbone fibre optic network in 2009/10, transport minister Sbu Ndebele said on Tuesday.
The state-owned telecommunications infrastructure provider’s fibre optic cable network now covered about 12 250km countrywide, he told a media briefing in parliament in his capacity as chairman of the infrastructure development cluster of ministries.
This also enabled SA to extend connectivity to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to countries such as Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
Ndebele said the 2010 legacy implementation plan, developed in June 2010, was ready for implementation during 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 would 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 would roll over into April and May.
On digital terrestrial television, Ndebele said cabinet recently endorsed a decision by SADC to adopt the European second-generation digital video broadcasting (DVB-T2) technology standard for implementing the digital migration process.
Cabinet further adopted December 2013 as the switch-off date of the analogue signal to the digital signal. This process would contribute to government’s job creation programme in manufacturing, packaging, distribution, installation, maintenance and content production, he said.
The migration process would result in the creation of more TV channels, therefore increasing the demand for more content.
Government intended 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. — Sapa