A proposed amendment to the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) by the Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, has added a definition for “broadband” to the Act.
The ECA Amendment Bill of 2012 published in the Government Gazette dated 18 July 2012 states that the following addition to list of definitions is to be made:
“‘Broadband’ means an always available, multimedia capable connection with a minimum download speed as determined by the Minister from time to time by Notice in the Gazette:”;
It is interesting to view this tabled amendment in the context of South Africa’s National Broadband Policy, published in 2005, which uses similar wording to define broadband but specifies a minimum download speed of 256kbps.
This speed was derived from definition of broadband set out by the Development Sector of the International Telecommunications Union, according to the policy.
The amendment bill gazetted last week hasn’t been finalised yet, and Pule has has invited comment which must be received in writing within 30 days of its publication in the gazette (17 August 2012).