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WSIS Forum 2011 unites governments with grassroots to re-energize the development agenda

World leaders are gathering in Geneva this week to work on strategies to more effectively harness the power and reach of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in crucial areas like health and education.

Co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, the World Summit on the Information Society (16-20 May) is the world’s largest annual gathering of the world’s ‘ICT for development’ community, including UN agencies, governments, civil society and ICT industry representatives.

Mobile Growth Key Driver in Africa – Jotischky

The Informa Telecoms & Media says that connecting rural areas and proving information communication technology (ICT) access is set to be the future of the industry.

Informa Telecoms & Media, Nick Jotischky, who is of the view that globally mobile subscribers will continue to fall, points out that, "In Africa the trend is going to be much the same in the sense that subscriber growth will falter but I think expansion into rural areas can and will boost growth and even cause acceleration."

EASSy Cable Open for Business

The days of limited and expensive international bandwidth in South Africa are over as the EASSy cable became the second submarine cable to launch on the East coast of Africa.

MTN's Trevor Martin's, who also serves as the EASSy consortium's chairperson, has announced that the cable has come in ahead of schedule and almost 10 percent under its US$300 million budget.

Dramatic Increase in Broadband – Goldstuck

The economy might be down but there are still plenty of opportunities on the Internet and in cellular communication for entrepreneurs. This is according to Arthur Goldstuck, director of World Wide Worx.

Goldstuck says that the laying of several new undersea cables and the recent landing of Seacom’s cable in Mtinzini in KwaZulu-Natal will see a dramatic increase in broadband capacity.

Support the Call for a Comprehensive National Broadband Strategy for South Africa

Access to cheaper and affordable broadband will present NGOs and all other sectors of South African society with significant opportunities to improve the impact and competitiveness of their activities.

The South African National Broadband Forum is an initiative of four organisations (Association for Progressive Communications, SANGONeT, the Shuttleworth Foundation and South Africa Connect) which share the goal of cheaper and affordable Internet access for South Africa.

Telecoms Operators Sign African Undersea Cable

Telkom has announced that a consortium of telecoms operators have signed a deal that will pave the way for the laying of South Africa's undersea cable around West Africa to Europe.

In a press statement, Telkom points out that the US$600 million West Africa Cable System will boost broadband capacity and could cut comparatively high Internet tariffs in Africa's biggest economy.

The company states that the 14 000 kilometre long cable system will be supplied by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks and is expected to be completed by 2011.

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