Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has saved R117-million in broadband and telecommunications costs with the roll-out of its broadband network in the metro.

The spare infrastructure capacity generated by this broadband network will now be taken up by the eight service providers which have signed service-level agreements with the city.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday that negotiations with a further 20 network operators were under way.

“The conclusion of these agreements is part of the city’s commitment to bridging the digital divide between underserviced communities and those with high levels of digital access,” she said.

The city has set aside R222m over three years for the roll-out of broadband across the metro.

Already, 43 Western Cape Government buildings and 141 municipal buildings are connected. De Lille said an additional 30 council buildings would be added in the 2013/2014 financial year.

While clinics, libraries and public buildings were high on the priority list, the project would also focus on improving connectivity for the benefit of the public. The city would therefore include public hospitals, police stations and the offices of Home Affairs, Environmental Affairs and other government departments on the network.

De Lille said there was also an agreement to connect Further Education and Training colleges. - Cape Argus