Telkom must fund government’s broadband plans: report

South Africa’s government will push Telkom to provide the cash for its new broadband network which will provide Internet access to citizens. This is according to a report by Bloomberg.

Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele told Bloomberg that the roll-out of broadband is a costly exercise, and that “Telkom has got its own balance sheet which can meet some of this demand.”

The planned broadband network will cost around R98 billion, and according to Bloomberg will be funded by the sale of mobile frequencies, the government budget, and resources from Telkom.

In February 2012 former communications minister Dina Pule said it will cost somewhere between R60 billion and R89 billion to roll out broadband to all citizens in South Africa.

South Africa’s broadband policy, called “South Africa Connect”, requires 50% of South Africans to have access to a 5Mbps connection by 2016.

The policy also states 90% of South Africans must have access to a 5Mbps connection by 2020, while 50% of citizens must connect at 100Mbps.

Telkom said it welcomes the announcement of the government’s decision to appoint the company as South Africa’s national broadband champion.

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Telkom must fund government’s broadband plans: report