The RCCP was established to improve broadband connectivity of priority rural university campuses to the South African National Research Network (SANReN). RCCP is managed by Universities South Africa (USAf) and implemented by the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET). Much progress has been made.
Phase One (Oct 2010 to Mar 2014) of it saw a total of 19 rurally-based campuses connected at a cost of R28 million funded by the DHET. The successful conclusion of RCCP I saw the DHET accepting a proposal for further connections. A grant of R71,127 million was approved for RCCP II for implementation over a four-year period from March 2015 to March 2019. Following the approval and disbursements of funds for RCCP II, the period March to December 2015 focused on the establishment and formalisation of the necessary agreements, structures, capabilities and macro plans required to successfully implement RCCP II. From January 2016, the focus shifted to detailed planning and implementation actions. Although the project Steering Committee had approved connectivity to a total of 74 sites, the number was later reduced to 56 after the beneficiary institutions’ review of their operations and maintenance budgets, reduced site priorities and self-connects by the institutions themselves. As at 30 September, 27 site connections were completed and four were delayed due to technicalities involving the beneficiary institutions.
All in all, RCCP II is making good progress. If the beneficiary university campuses utilise the broadband connectivity provided by it appropriately, it will contribute to improving efficiencies in administration and communication as well as enhancing teaching and learning and research. USAf has since contracted a service provider to conduct a mid-term project review, a report of which is envisaged by December 2017.
Click here for the RCCP mid-term report