Broadband Infraco

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The new state-owned broadband company to be known as Broadband InfraCo will manage the national long-distance Full Services Network (FSN) held by Eskom and Transnet. InfraCo will support the new second network operator, Neotel.

It will be responsible for the implementation of Long Distance backbone capacities between the Metropolitan Centres, while Neotel will be responsible for the implementation of the distribution networks within the Metropolitan areas. In the near future the introduction of this new company into the market should lead to a reduction of telephony costs.

2007 DPE Budget Speech

A ground-breaking event is occurring in the area of broadband infrastructure. Broadband is the backbone of modern communication systems, allowing for the rapid transfer of digitised information. Infraco has been established under the leadership of Dave Smith to ensure that we develop this essential communication backbone. It is simply no longer possible to compete in the global knowledge economy without low cost, reliable and widely available bandwidth. There are businesses which could exist in our economy and do not because we have bandwidth costs that they cannot absorb. South Africa's economic growth remains constrained by patchy, high cost broadband availability. This excludes key stakeholders from full participation in this important domain of global activity. Whether in education, research and innovation, business process outsourcing, leading edge design and access to services, our model can no longer depend on the environment of the early to mid 90s.

Infraco will, with other partners, such as the South African Research Network and the South African Square Kilometre Array Radio (SKAR) telescope consortium provide a series of new platforms for bandwidth expansion and affordability. There is a clear public interest in developing the necessary infrastructure to achieve this goal. This means consistent, coherent and purposeful action in leading this initiative and in ensuring that our citizens have the connectivity, content and capability to fully participate in this domain. Legislation for the establishment of this entity will be processed in the current parliamentary session and we trust that we will get the full support of this House. I should point out that as a subsidiary of Eskom, Infraco is in fact already operational and building the necessary infrastructure.

 
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