To boost broadband in South Africa we need a strong, fast regulator, good direction and decision making, naked ADSL, an open access wireless network, and a strong investment from government. This is according to former MWEB CEO Rudi Jansen.
Speaking at the 2012 MyBroadband conference on 10 October, Jansen said that South Africa needs a shared vision and leadership to drive broadband. “We need leaders who dare to change the status quo,” said Jansen.
He also said that SA needs a strong telecommunications regulator with the ability to move fast to create a stronger broadband environment.
Jansen has been a pioneer in delivering affordable uncapped broadband to consumers, but according to the former MWEB CEO more needs to be done to create a competitive and vibrant ADSL market.
He called on Telkom to launch a naked ADSL service (hence removing the compulsory analogue line rental), and offer Internet Service Providers (ISPs) bit-stream access at affordable rates.
Jansen further called on government to make a significant investment in broadband infrastructure in South Africa, and make this infrastructure available to service providers at cost (long-run average incremental cost).
He also highlighted the need for true open peering and net neutrality to boost Internet access and drive down costs.
Open access wireless networks needed
When it came to spectrum allocation, Jansen suggested that companies which can deploy “proper networks” should be recipients of this valuable resource – hence the cellular operators. However, there is a special requirement.
Jansen said that these wireless networks should be an open access network, which can therefore be used by service providers on a wholesale basis to deliver broadband services to their subscribers.
The cost models, Jansen said, should be based on international norm, and not what the cellular companies claim their costs are.
Jansen further said that South Africa should get rid of all data caps below 50GB to ensure people can use the Internet with a fair amount of freedom.