Neotel had penned a R2 billion deal with the Western Cape and the State Information Agency to provide broadband services to 2 000 government sites, the fixed-line telecoms operator said yesterday. Explaining the three-year deal, Sunil Joshi, the firm’s chief executive, said the partnership would help grow the economy. Each site would first receive speed of 10 megabit per second (Mbps) before upgrading to 100Mbps, 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and others at 10Gbps. The initiative forms part of the Western Cape government’s vision to have broadband across all wards by 2030. Neotel is the subject of a takeover by Vodacom in a R7bn deal that awaits approval by competition authorities. The group would provide connectivity to 2 000 sites across the province, comprising government buildings, schools, health-care institutions and libraries. “The project is a first of its kind in South Africa and has strict guidelines to deliver sites and service levels in a true public-private partnership, by leveraging the skills, resources and expertise of each party for the provision of broadband services across the province,” Joshi said. Neotel would offer the latest technology for voice and data to increase network reliability with optimised maintenance costs, Joshi added. – Ayanda Mdluli