South Africa’s State IT Agency (SITA) has cancelled a tender for the deployment of ‘phase one’ of a rural broadband network under the government’s South Africa Connect broadband strategy, PoliticsWeb writes. The first phase of the programme, for which the national treasury has allocated ZAR1.5 billion (USD104.5 million), is aiming to connect 6,235 government facilities in eight district municipalities. Phase two, meanwhile, will comprise the rollout of broadband connectivity to 35,211 facilities in the remaining 44 district municipalities by 2020 to meet the SA Connect target of 90% population coverage.
News of the cancellation of the tender comes just days after ITWeb reported that six companies had been shortlisted for the tender, including Broadband Infraco, EOH, MTN, Neotel, Vodacom and Tradepage & Galela Telecommunications as a joint venture. Telkom, which had been expected to be a frontrunner for the project, was not among the shortlisted names.