Carrim hosts Broadband Policy Workshop


South Africa’s Ministry of Communications recently convened a workshop to report-
back to stakeholders and experts who commented on the Broadband Policy that was
gazetted in April this year.

A range of experts was also invited to comment on the latest draft of the Broadband
Policy and Plan.

Minister of Communications Yunus 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 Minister Carrim.

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,’ said Minister Carrim.

He added that 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. It 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 Minister Carrim.

He noted that this policy seeks to ensure that the benefits of broadband reach all
South Africans.


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