JOHANNESBURG - The provincial government in Limpopo has appointed Altech Radio Holdings to establish an affordable, secure open access broadband network across the region, the company said on Friday.

It said the R585-million project would see connectivity provided to government departments, municipalities, businesses and households across the province over a three-year period. 

"ARH’s appointment follows similar broadband roll-outs in Gauteng, which saw the successful implementation of the Gauteng Broadband Network incorporating 1600 km of high-speed fibre optics," it said in a statement.

The government's national development plan envisages connecting all South Africans to broadband infrastructure to give them better access to public services, as well as health and educational information.

A 2017 report by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa showed that in 2015, only 53.5 percent of South African households had one member who had access to the Internet, either at home, their workplace, place of study or an Internet café. 

“Broadband telecommunications infrastructure is viewed as a 21st century basic essential utility, and should be open to community members," Altech Radio Holdings MD Brett Nash said.

"ARH hopes to play an important role in transforming Limpopo into a knowledge economy and information society province."

- African News Agency (ANA)