The Western Cape Provincial Parliament, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and broadband provider Neotel have signed a strategic agreement, under which over 2,000 government sites in the South African province will get broadband access over the next two to three years, TechCentral reports. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille revealed that under the agreement, all 2,000 sites will be connected with minimum speeds of 10Mbps by May 2016, while 90% of sites will benefit from downlink of 100Mbps by August 2018, with 10% capable of receiving 1Gbps connection at that date. Zille added: ‘Our government is also committed to ensuring that our communities can tangibly benefit from this agreement. Neotel has therefore generously committed to funding the infrastructure rollout of 384 Wi-Fi hotspots, using Western Cape government buildings, which will cover almost every ward in the province. Our government will be subsidising the free portion of citizens’ internet access.’ The Wi-Fi hotspots will be rolled out over a period of four years, as Neotel builds out its fibre optic network and every person in Western Cape will have the opportunity to access ‘limited free’ internet at the hotspots. Further, Neotel reportedly revealed that it will spend a quarter of the value of the contract with local companies and will use small businesses and local contractors during the construction of the network.
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