Satellite operator Avanti Communications has completed its first installation of Ka-band VSAT services for the Working for Water programme run by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). This programme aims to combat invasive alien plants, the single biggest threat to South African biodiversity and is globally recognised as one of the most outstanding conservation initiatives on the continent.
Avanti's HYLAS 2 satellite will provide data connectivity to support the research and monitoring aspects of the programme in both urban and remote locations across South Africa. The initial installation is at the Department of Environmental Affairs' offices in the Cape Town CBD, with further installations in Bellville.
Information is crucial
"An effective information management infrastructure is crucial in supporting our implementation effort, with around 320 projects around the country in the Working for Water programme and another 170 sites where the Working on Fire programme have a footprint," said Ahmed Khan, deputy director of Strategic Services of Environmental Programmes at the DEA.
"Live operational level information is key in ensuring timely and effective implementation management. These are often in fairly remote locations where the fixed telecommunication infrastructure is not always in place to effect such a live arrangement. We look forward to testing alternative approaches in addressing this need through this partnership."
David William, Avanti's chief executive concluded: "Internet connectivity is growing fast in South Africa, but there remains challenges in delivering high speed networks across the country. Fortunately, the new generation of broadband satellites operated by Avanti provides a complementary technology to terrestrial and mobile networks. This pilot demonstrates how HYLAS 2, Avanti's satellite servicing sub-Saharan Africa, can support critical government initiatives by improving service within urban areas whilst providing connectivity beyond the reach of terrestrial infrastructure."