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Botash enhances connectivity

Kabelo Dipholo

Fibre optic project promises open access services for Sowa Town

Sowa Town and Botswana Ash (Botash) have successfully replaced their microwave transmission with fibre optics, a project undertaken in partnership with Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet).

The initiative, spearheaded by BOTASH due to challenges with low-capacity microwave technology, commenced in November last year and was completed in March 2023.

Keabetswe Segole, Acting CEO of BoFiNet, highlighted that the project involved laying 44km of fibre optic cable from Nata-Dukwi Junction to Sowa Township, funded by BoFiNet, and an additional 22km sponsored by Botswana Ash, extending from the township to the mine.

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Segole emphasized that the aim was to bring high-capacity technology to an underserved area, providing open access services to Public Telecommunications Operators (PTOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and government entities. “It has greatly improved businesses’ operational efficiency and productivity, and the benefits go beyond the corporate world and have an impact on improvements in healthcare and education,” Segole said.

To support citizen-owned enterprises, the principal contractor overseeing the project’s execution was Business Online (PTY) LTD, a locally owned company. The upgraded infrastructure is set to benefit the Sowa community and the mine by facilitating faster data transfers, improving operational efficiency, and impacting sectors like healthcare and education.

Minister of Communications, Knowledge, and Technology Thulaganyo Segokgo commended Botash for taking the initiative to enhance connectivity in Sowa Town, filling a gap left by the government’s previous fibre optic rollout. Segokgo highlighted that the limitations of microwave infrastructure prompted Botash’s collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and BoFiNet.

The Minister underscored the transformative impact of fibre optic technology, citing its unmatched speed, reliability, and security. Segokgo emphasized that this advancement would revolutionize communication, work dynamics, and learning experiences. “First and foremost, data transmission using fibre optic technology offers unparalleled speed and dependability. The ability to send massive amounts of data at the speed of light completely changes how we communicate, work, and learn,” he said.

Kangangwani Phatshwane, Managing Director of Botash, acknowledged the Minister’s support in addressing the connectivity gap in Sowa Town, emphasizing the critical role of telecommunications for mining businesses, particularly in remote locations. Phatshwane highlighted the reliability and independence of fibre optics from external interference, expressing optimism for more dependable global communications for Botash and the Sowa Town community.

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