Next year’s Fifa Confederations Cup (FCC) is critical for SA to show its readiness for the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer finals, says Host Broadcasting Services (HBS).

The broadcaster for the tournament adds that all key contributors to preparations have stepped up their efforts.
“All parties are currently changing gear, with more staff on board,” says HBS CEO Francis Tellier. “It is expected the Confederations Cup will greatly help to troubleshoot and fine-tune the projects.”

HBS adds it expects significant attendance from world broadcasters as they will want to see the state of preparations one year ahead of the World Cup. Tellier says ensuring the broadcasters’ approval is a big responsibility for the local organising committee and the five host cities: Johannesburg, Tshwane, Mangaung, Mafikeng and Port Elizabeth.

Bandwidth considerations

Tellier says SA’s telecoms infrastructure has been the most pertinent to upgrade. Tellier explains there was little need to upgrade the telecoms infrastructure in Germany, especially the domestic infrastructure that offered plenty of bandwidth between the host cities.

“A major upgrade is being implemented in SA that will leave a long-lasting legacy to the country,” Tellier adds.

“Most of the six FCC stadiums have been cabled and we are working closely with Telkom to ensure the rest will be connected before the Confederations Cup kicks off next year,” says 2010 Local Organising Committee chief IT and telecoms officer Phumlani Moholi.

In August, Telkom announced it would have the required capacity installed for the FCC. It said broadcast signals would be sent via the SAT-3 cable, on the West Coast, and the South African Far East Cable that runs out of Durban.

Tomorrow, Telkom will detail its readiness for the Confederations Cup and progress on preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer finals.

DATED: 3rd November 2008