| March 6, 2015, 10 a.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) is set to bring together stakeholders to share information on current projects status for the Fibre-to-the-X and Wholesale Wi-Fi. As part of the stakeholder breakfast seminar slated for 9th March 2015, BoFiNet will also present the value to the business community and discuss solutions offered through these rollouts. Further, the seminar provides attendees with an opportunity to be abreast with Government initiatives aimed at improving ICT in line with the Broadband Strategy.
BoFiNet, an organisation wholly owned by the Government of Botswana, has been mandated to manage an important national strategic asset in the high capacity fibre network within Botswana as well as the International terrestrial links from Botswana to the rest of the world. BoFiNet manages these fibre networks in order to create open access wholesale capability, serving the telecommunication industry in Botswana and abroad. The intent is to drive the vision of Botswana by promoting and Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) environment.
In order to continuously improve Information Technology Service Delivery throughout Botswana and for BoFiNet to comply with the requirements of the mandate, the engagement will introduce the official rollout of BoFiNet’s two major projects: Fibre to the X (Business, Curb, Home) Project across the country; and Wholesale Wi-Fi Project on malls, airports and other public strategic areas.
Both projects are funded by the Government of Botswana and sponsored by Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) with the aim of transforming the lives of the citizens through the broadband connectivity. The FTTx and WiFi Infrastructure Project aims to build and manage an FTTx and Wi – Fi infrastructure that will create a platform for service providers to provide connectivity within a large spectrum of locations without exorbitant investment overlays. The final objective is to provide the end-user affordable access as the providers pass the benefit of wholesale prices to end-users.
Some of the identified targeted areas for the FTTx – Wi Fi service include: hospitals, government offices, airports, and commercial areas such as; filling stations, shopping centers, bus ranks and office parks. It is anticipated that the deployment of the FTTx & Wi-Fi facilities will offer Batswana with new and exciting opportunities in the era of global connectivity.
The BoFiNet Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Kungo Mabogo explained that “Over the coming years, Botswana must become a nation that maximizes the power, reach, versatility and innovation of ICT. This will enable the country to secure a key position in the emerging global information society, and flourish economically throughout. This segment will benefit most businesses from increased levels of connectivity. The deployment will help drive or speed up the national connectivity, helping draw communities closer together and facilitate economic growth and development in all regions of the country.”
All Batswana will be provided with access to information that will assist them in their everyday lives. On-line information on employment, community development, healthcare, education and government services can be accessed via this medium.
“With this deployment there will be increased levels of e-Commerce which will enable local companies to compete equally in the global marketplace, and the development of a vibrant and entrepreneurial ICT sector will create further employment, greater economic diversification and boost investor confidence. The deployment has the ability to dramatically increase the access, availability and sharing of important, life-enriching information and services for all Batswana,” added Mabogo.