CAPE TOWN - The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde have signed a R20 million broadband feasibility study agreement to figure out how to bring high-speed internet connection to everyone in the province.
At a media briefing on Tuesday, all role players officially signed the agreement, which provides grant funding for the feasibility study. California-based Global Resources, Inc., a certified woman-owned small business, will conduct the study, USTDA said.
USTDA’s feasibility study will assess the economic and technical viability of deploying new broadband infrastructure across the province, as well as potential ownership and operations models for future broadband deployments. The goal is to provide insight on how to connect each town in the province to affordable high-speed broadband networks.
“USTDA is proud to expand its portfolio of activities that advance South Africa’s digital transformation goals,” said USTDA director Enoh T. Ebong.
“Under our Access Africa initiative, USTDA is working with partners such as the Western Cape Government to support planning for the deployment of critical broadband infrastructure.”
Winde welcomed the initiative, saying: “I am thrilled by the signing of this agreement today. It marks yet another leap forward to freedom of connection, to the world and its economy, for our citizens. It is my hope that this investment will one day soon deliver greater ease for entrepreneurs to create and build their businesses, for job-seekers to pursue opportunities and work, and for learners to be able to study and thrive at school, and I look forward to receiving the final product. Improving broadband access, particularly in our most disconnected communities, is a real enabler of growth, and this feasibility study will tell us how best to achieve this.”
The Access Africa initiative aims to advance the development of sustainable ICT infrastructure across Africa. While the US government’s Prosper Africa initiative, which the project is also part of, aims to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa.