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Wi-Fi along the Garden Route
Last year, the Mail & Guardian reported that the Knysna municipality was working with UniNet to establish a Wi-Fi network that covers the entire municipal area in order to provide broadband services at low prices and service voice for residents, businesses and local government offices.
UniNet David Jarvis says the company has delivered the broadband services to residents Knysna, but voice services have stalled over the failure to obtain an interconnection agreement with Telkom, which would allow residents make and receive calls outside Knysna.
Knysna residents can buy packages of broadband uncapped UniNet between R255 and R800, depending on the speed of download required.
Jarvis said that the services were offered by only a few months and have already something less than 200 customers. The massive marketing campaign is planned for next year to attract more customers.
UniNet Wireless also provides hotspots in Knysna where residents have free access to the Internet [http://www.storm.co.za/internetaccess.q]. Jarvis said that this will change: residents will have 45 free minutes per day and pay for usage above that.
Once the interconnection agreement with Telkom is ironed Knysna residents can expect their first 100 minutes of local calls to be free, a 50% call rates to cell phones and a 10% to 15% discount rate long distance calls to landlines from Telkom.
Jarvis said that the recent agreement signed with UniNet ITEL offering to provide the same services to all districts Knysna OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape accelerate the Convention interconnection. It is expected that voice services will be available in February next year.
Broadband in the city of gold
The City of Johannesburg also intends to offer broadband services using its core network, but services are unlikely to reach customers by 2008.
Economic development of the city, tourism and marketing department is leading the project, said Douglas Cohen, project consultant. There was a huge leap in terms of purchasing policy, with the committee of the municipality approves the project in October and accepting establish a subcommittee of the mayor with a project office.
Cohen said that next year a request for proposal is published and once an implementation plan has been established, the offer will be published. We're on the road today, "he said.
However, some Analysts argue that interested parties and the bureaucracy and lack of political will stifle attempts by municipalities to bring services to residents and businesses.
David Gale, who is head of business development for the telecommunications operator of the storm, said that the conflict between the City departments who have to work together on projects like this has been a real headache. The wheels turn just so damn slowly, "he said. You have to get people to move at a speed of telecommunications LTL real world. These guys have assets and a great opportunity to use these assets, but does not see the urgency with which he has to run. Or if they do, are frustrated by the lack of political will. I do not think they have missed the boat, but I think they are the great hope of any telecommunications, "said Gale.
Cohen said he there will always be a role for municipalities because there will always be underserved areas.
Robert Lipschitz from Genesis Analytics says while prices remain high broadband, there will be space for services of similar quality at a lower price, but it belongs to the municipalities to demonstrate they have the ability to operate.
Storm Telecommunications provide businesses with Internet connectivity that is fast, cost effective and reliable. We prioritise taking the time to analyse your business' Internet requirements in detail. We're serious about Customer Service [http://www.storm.co.za/support.q]. That's why we offer comprehensive Service Level Agreements, 24 hour technical support and a full online customer portal.
Originally posted 2010-01-22 13:48:06.