Norman Munzhelele. (www.techcentral.co.za)
Norman Munzhelele, of the DoC, told attendees at the Broadband Summit, in Johannesburg, the communications minister will soon sign off on the use of radio frequency spectrum for improving broadband penetration across the country, which the government sees as “critical” for achieving better access to broadband.
“Radio frequency spectrum is a critical input in the provision of broadband services,” Munzhelele said, explaining that the focus must be on low frequencies to ensure high coverage across South Africa.
While high-end bands are important for the provision of high-quality services in specific localised areas Muzhelele conceded, low-end frequencies allow for further reaching networks.
Relevant issues in the debate surrounding the use of radio frequencies for broadband include the need to provide universal broadband service and access across the country, the affordability of those services, promoting competitiveness in the market, and encouraging black economic empowerment, listed Munzhelele.
However, despite the departmental support, Munzhelele stressed that the DoC is only responsible for policy and guidelines, highlighting that the decisions regarding allocation of spectrum lie with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
“It’s a yes from us,” revealed Munzhelele, adding that the Minister will be signing off on the issue of radio frequency use for broadband soon.
“Then ICASA can do what it needs to do,” he went on.
“Remember, ICASA does the allocation and implementation, the DoC puts in place the policy framework.”