Earlier in 2011 the South African Department of Communications (DoC) announced its policy to provide broadband to all South Africans by 2020.
Although the statement seemed quite bold, industry players criticised the vagueness of the goal, specifically around the definitions of “broadband” and “for all.”
The DoC has since explained that the meaning behind “for all” speaks to coverage, and have also announced that they are looking at increasing South Africa’s minimum speeds that qualify as “broadband.”
During SATNAC 2011, currently being held in East London, Telkom SA’s group CEO, Nombulelo “Pinky” Moholi was asked whether the DoC’s new policy plays to only wireless Internet access. Moholi agreed that wireless is very important when discussing the rural roll-out of broadband. However, Moholi added that fixed broadband offers better end-to-end quality of service and said that they still have an obligation not to be left behind technologically due to the advent of wireless.
Moholi said that that fixed broadband such as ADSL still has a role in SA’s broadband goals and that it needs to be rolled out to at least every municipality in the country.
Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Telkom at SATNAC 2011