South Africa Prioritises Internet Broadband Rollout

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South Africa, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele, said on Monday that the Department of Telecommunications has established a war room to fast track the rollout of broadband in the country.

He was speaking at the 2016 Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference in George in the Western Cape.

Minister Cwele said “Government has identified the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and broadband rollout as one of the enablers for faster and more equitable economic growth as evidenced by its inclusion in the Nine-Point Plan,”

The broadband war room brings together all the departments that are responsible for broadband.

“It is a product of the government’s coordinated implementation plan through the cluster system.

“We are also practicing this coordination at the implementation level through provincial broadband steering committees that seek to align all broadband activities to the South Africa Connect and remove bottlenecks that impede an accelerated rollout,” he said.

Minister Cwele said the department’s efforts to re-imagine the future include modernising policies that govern the ICT sector.

After following a process of consultations throughout the country with all stakeholders, the department has a draft National Integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy White Paper which is before the Cabinet for consideration and finalisation.

“It seeks to create an environment that, amongst others, enables universal access to modern communications tools and services, opens up opportunities for new and smaller businesses and facilitates more competition in the sector in a manner that ultimately reduces the costs.

“We want these policies to create an enabling environment for small businesses to use technology to unlock their job creation potential and also address localise the internet by using the internet to come up with local solutions to solve our problems,” he said.

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