National broadband study on the cards

The Department of Communications wants to conduct a study into broadband coverage, penetration, and speed in SA

Department of Communications broadband

Minister of Communications Dina Pule told parliament today (8 May 2012) that they have decided to conduct a study into broadband coverage, penetration, and speed in South Africa.

“Currently, there are no authoritative statistics on broadband penetration in South Africa,” Pule said.

According to Pule, estimates put broadband penetration at 2% for fixed-line broadband, around 4% for mobile PC broadband and 17% for broadband penetration using smartphones.

South Africa should not be satisfied with these statistics, Pule said. “We have to find practical solutions to fast track the uptake and usage of broadband services by the majority of our people.”

Three flagship programmes

Pule went on to say that said that in this financial year, and for the medium term, they have prioritised three flagship programmes aimed at building a modern digital infrastructure as well as the policy reforms which position the country for an advanced knowledge economy in 2030.

These programmes are:

  1. Developing a National Integrated ICT Policy.
  2. Rolling out a national broadband network.
  3. Implementing the digital broadcasting migration policy.

Job creation

“We are happy to mention that our partners in business in this sector are also contributing to improving the lives of the people,” Pule said.

Despite the recession, Pule said companies have created numerous jobs, specifically mentioning MultiChoice who are said to have created 531 jobs, with Vodacom contributing another 450 jobs last year.

MTN has created 4,543 direct and 14,500 indirect jobs since 2010, Pule said.

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