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National broadband policy promises to reduce ADSL Prices

South African National Broadband Forum meets with Department of Communications over national broadband strategy that looks set to reduce ADSL prices.

The South African National Broadband Forum (SANBF) launched a framework in earlier this year, focusing on various initiatives which will ensure that “all South Africans should have affordable broadband access to the Internet.”

The objectives of the “Framework for a Comprehensive National Broadband Strategy in South Africa” include the maximization of fibre and wireless broadband infrastructure, to stimulate the creation of digital broadband content, to enhance e-governance and e-citizenship and accelerate the adoption and use of advanced broadband connections.

The SANBF wants to achieve the following milestones by 2014:

1. Have broadband access in every town and village;

2. Have the cheapest broadband access on the continent; and,

3. Be number one in terms of broadband penetration on the continent.

The Department of Communications (DoC) recently said that a national broadband policy and addressing high telecoms costs will be a high priority for the department in this financial year.

The DoC’s focus on a national broadband policy may tie in well with the SANBF’s recent work regarding the development and implementation of a comprehensive National Broadband Strategy for South Africa.

To further facilitate cooperation between the two organizations the SANBF recently met with the DoC to discuss a national broadband policy. The meeting was positive and Ministry more proactive stance a welcome change.

The DoC already has a draft national broadband policy which has been approved by the Minister of Communications, Siphiwe Nyanda. This policy is currently being circulated widely within government and is set to be gazetted within the next two weeks. The DoC indicated that it welcomes public input and comment on the draft policy once it has been gazetted.

Song said that the next step for the SANBF will be to mobilize public participation in commenting on the draft policy.

The clearest way to increase broadband penetration break the monopolies that keep adsl prices high. Strong public feedback will send a clear message to the ministry that we need them to do everything they can to reduce the price of adsl access.

via National broadband policy under the spotlight.

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