Speaking at the Broadband Summit in Johannesburg, Norman Munzhelele of the DoC told attendees of the importance of ensuring schools and the healthcare sector are priorities in the expansion of the country’s broadband network, and added that digitising the government is also a key target in broadband policy.
“Many schools are currently outside broadband coverage areas,” acknowledged Munzhelele. “I think we need to target these areas to ensure schools are connected.”
In order to achieve broadband targets, the DoC says private-public partnerships must be formed to enable structured development. In particular, part state-owned Telkom must play a role in the expansion of broadband infrastructure and facilities.
“Telkom has to be involved in all of these things,” said Munzhelele, noting that Telkom currently has the biggest network.
“We need to find the best possible ways together to ensure broadband is available to all in equal and equitable terms,” he went on.
However, partnerships and private-player engagement should not be limited to Telkom, said Munzhelele, rather, all entities should be able to fairly participate in the development of the broadband network in South Africa.
Indeed, a separate factor that needs to be addressed if broadband is to expand optimally across the country is the promotion of competition within the telecoms market, according to Munzhelele.
“Competition is important to enable everyone to participate in a fair and equitable manner in deploying infrastructure,” he commented.