Pretoria - The Gauteng government is set to roll out a R510-million broadband network next month which will increase network speeds in government buildings 500 times.

The Gauteng Broadband Network launch date of April 1 was announced by the Gauteng MEC for Finance, Mandla Nkomfe, during his provincial budget speech on Tuesday.

This year the project will receive R260m, and another R250m next year.

“From year three, the Broadband Network should be self-funding,” Nkomfe said.

He said the first phase of the project would connect all government buildings in the province, community service centres and the “top 20 priority townships”.

Users would access the network at speeds from at least 1GB per second up to a maximum of 10GBps. Even at the bottom range, this was 500 times faster than current speeds in the government buildings.

Once this was in place, the budget stateds, Voice over Internet Protocol, audio communication cheaper than landline or cellphone fees, would be prioritised.

Nkomfe said the network would allow the government to improve content for the e-Learning programme, which saw a movement towards user-end devices such as tablets as learning devices.

He also said it would allow for the “realisation of telemedicine”, the use of technology to diagnose and treat patients. - Pretoria News