Broadband has been recognised as an enabling technology in connecting government and citizens in transitioning towards a smart society. However, governments, especially in developing countries, continue to face challenges in their bid to connect citizens. This study provides an understanding of how institutional pressures have influenced policy implementation to advance the “smart agenda” in a developing country context, using South Africa as an exemplary case study. The study is an interpretive qualitative case study, using documentary evidence as data. Institutional theory is used as a lens for interrogating the issues confronting government in implementing “smart” initiatives. We conclude that policy alone is not sufficient if not supported by a strong implementation plan and other supporting institutional mechanisms such as leadership to coordinate, and direct resources and activities in the institution.