A R20 million broadband agreement has been signed by the Western Cape government and the United States Trade and Development Agency.
The funding will be used for a feasibility study that aims to look at solutions to bridge the digital divide and strengthen internet access in marginalised and rural communities in the province.
Premier Alan Winde said this development will bolster the province’s broadband infrastructure by providing affordable high-speed broadband networks throughout the province. He said its timing is perfect as it provides an opportunity to see how the province spends funding on broadband to maximise education outcomes and economic opportunities to stay ahead of the curve.
He said improving broadband access, particularly in the most disconnected communities, is a real enabler of growth, and this study will show how best to achieve this.
“I am thrilled by the signing of this agreement. 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,” he said.
The United States Consul General, Todd Haskell, said their government’s support to expand broadband infrastructure in the Western Cape aims to create economic opportunities and promote mutual prosperity.
“These goals are the foundation of our trade and investment promotion partnership with the provincial government. Our commitment to these goals ensures that the United States is the top foreign direct investor in the province and the province’s top export market with over $1.5 billion in bilateral trade annually,” he said.
Winde added that the signing of this agreement is a further testament to the strong bilateral relationship between the provincial government and its United States counterparts.
Picture: CapeTown ETC