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Update on Broadband Policy Workshop

Eugene morokolo Oct 28,2013 0 Comments

Yunus Carrim 243x300 Update on Broadband Policy Workshop

The Ministry of Communications convened a workshop to report-back to

stakeholders and experts who commented on the Broadband policy that was

gazetted in April. A range of experts was also invited to comment on the

latest draft of the Broadband Policy and Plan.

Carrim urged the participants to engage robustly with the draft which he is to take to the Strategic Integrated

Project 15 of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, the

government’s economic cluster, and consult further with SALGA and

representatives of the provinces, before taking it to Cabinet.

These consultations are aimed at getting greater support for and

coordination of the national broadband policy.

“We are hoping to do all of this by the last Cabinet meeting in the first

week of December. If the policy is not approved, we will consider releasing

a version of it in the public domain for further consideration,” said the

Minister.

He explained that in mid-November a panel of international experts will be

attending a workshop to give their responses to the Broadband Policy and

Plan.

“The current version of the broadband policy is an improvement on the April

version, thanks to the contribution many of you made. We may not have a

perfect policy by early December, but we hope, with your cooperation, to

have a good one. Obviously, with constant changes in technology, the policy

and progress on its implementation will have to be reviewed and monitored

annually,” the minister adds.

He said the policy largely gives expression to the ICT vision of the

National Development Plan to utilise universal broadband to ensure an

increase in growth, develop and job-creation in an inclusive manner.

The draft National Broadband Policy is called; South Africa Connect:

Creating Opportunities, Ensuring Inclusion.

The policy has identified four strategic areas which are digital readiness,

digital development, digital opportunity and digital future.

“This policy will be pursued as a national project that will seek to

galvanise the full capabilities, resources and energies of public and

private actors towards realising a bold vision of a connected society to

some extent in the spirit in which South Africa delivered on the 2010 FIFA

World Cup,” said Carrim.

He said this policy seeks to ensure that the benefits of broadband reach all

South Africans.

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