Broadband Infraco


Staff member
Jul 22, 2003
Broadband Infraco is new state-owned enterprise (“SOE”) that is operating within a specific focus areas of the telecommunications sector in South Africa. The focus is characterised by limited competition and significant barriers to entry because of the rights of way and high capital expenditure considerations. Broadband Infraco will not participate in those areas of the South African telecommunications market or value chain that are efficient and experience high levels of competition in terms of available services and pricing options.

Broadband Infraco’s intent in the telecommunications sector is to improve market efficiency by increasing available capacity and lowering the cost of those parts of the network infrastructure that impede private sector development and innovation in telecommunications services and content offerings.

Investigations into why broadband costs in South Africa are high compared to its international counterparts revealed that end user broadband connectivity providers have a cost structure where a large majority of costs are made up by cost elements attributable to:

(a) national long-distance connectivity; and
(b) international marine cable connectivity.

As a result of the above study, government resolved to retain ownership of the original Eskom Enterprises (Pty) Ltd and Transnet Limited long distance telecommunications infrastructure through the establishment of Broadband Infraco. The Broadband Infraco business now comprises two key elements, namely:

  • The National Long Distance fibre optic network, now expanded, based on the original fibre optic assets deployed by Eskom on power transmission lines and Transnet along railway infrastructure; and
  • The International Marine Cable network comprising a marine cable to be deployed between South Africa and the United Kingdom along the west coast of Africa.

Broadband Infraco has now been awarded an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service (i-ECNS) Licence by ICASA, allowing it to “provide other electronic communications network service and electronic communications service licensees and license exempt persons (“Third Parties”) open access to its electronic communications network on non-discriminatory terms”.

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