Broadband challenges in South Africa

Internet Access in South Africa 2012 report says that broadband progress in South Africa will happen despite policy-makers, and not because of them

By - January 3, 2013
Broadband government

The Internet Access in South Africa 2012 report was recently released, highlighting the need for better regulation, better resource allocation and more coordination between fibre roll-outs to boost broadband in South Africa.

The report, which was produced by World Wide Worx, stated that fibre rollout has not kept up with the strong demand for data because of broadband adoption.

“Policy-makers and regulators have a responsibility to facilitate and ease the adoption and roll-out of technology and infrastructure, rather than create obstacles in its way,” said World Wide Worx.

“It is a clear warning that current regulatory obstacles, including ownership rules, remain a spoke in the wheel of telecommunications progress. This progress will happen, but despite policy-makers, and not because of them.”

According to the report, South Africa faces the following challenges when it comes to broadband access and meeting the growing demand for data:

  • Lack of regulatory capacity;
  • Inappropriate allocation of resources;
  • Lack of coordination between fibre project;
  • Lack of cohesion between national, provincial and local authority in terms of trenching permissions, policies and coordination;
  • Lack of funding and appropriate institutional support for roll-out of infrastructure in under-serviced areas where commercial services are not available; and
  • Lack of access to computers for the vast majority of the population.

The report further suggests that government should more efficiently use Telkom’s infrastructure to boost broadband access, and better allocate key roles in broadband infrastructure for sate owned enterprises.

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