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Bandwidth for 2010 World Cup? Hold on, it’s coming, says SA’s DoC

South Africa currently does not have enough bandwidth to meet the 2010 guarantees but last week the Department of Communications went out of its way to reassure everyone hat the matter was in hand.

Telkom is due to increase capacity on its undersea cables, says Rosey Sekese, Department of Communications deputy director-general for ICT infrastructure. Sekese addressed last week's briefing on the progress being made in getting the country ready for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. She said the guarantees consisted of two parts: to ensure broadcast signals could be transmitted from the stadiums to the international broadcast centre, located at Nasrec, in Johannesburg; and then be transmitted out of the country to the rest of the world.

Sekese is confident Telkom would have the required increased capacity installed by the Confederations Cup, scheduled for next year, and that broadcast signals would be sent via Telkom's SAT-3 cable, on the West Coast, and on the SAFE cable that runs out of Durban. National signal distributor Sentech would have a second teleport built at Nasrec to increase satellite transmissions. Sekese also said Telkom would make its own satellite facilities available.

A spokesman for the Seacom cable told ItWeb that his company has been in negotiations with a number of international broadcasters. The Seacom cable is due to go live in Q2, 2009.

Sekese responded:“Our role, as government, is to guarantee that the infrastructure will be in place, and this is what we are doing. How the broadcasters secure bandwidth and what they pay for it is a commercial arrangement with which we don't have anything to do,” Sekese said. No mention was made of government's new Broadband Infraco, which is to lay an African West Coast cable which may not be ready for 2010.”

In the meantime, government is on the verge of signing formal contracts with both Telkom and Sentech, to provide the domestic telecommunications infrastructure for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This is according to deputy finance minister Jabu Moleketi, who spoke at the same briefing last week.

Under the agreement with soccer's world governing body, Fifa, the South African government has promised to deliver the 2010 World Cup successfully and, in turn, has partnered – in principle – with key stakeholders, like the telecoms companies.

According to Moleketi, government “has a number of contracts in place” to ensure successful ICT delivery to the event, and the Sentech contract is “ready for signing”.

He says the Telkom contract is being drafted.

ITWeb

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