Cell C Demands Answers on Vodacom-Neotel Deal

Cell C wants to know why Vodacom’s R7bn bid for Neotel was approved by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), and the company is even threatening legal action to try to stop the buyout.

Earlier this month, ICASA approved the Vodacom-Neotel deal on two conditions that reportedly included that the takeover be subject to compliance with local ownership law and adherence to terms regarding the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and services.

Internet Rights Are Also Human Rights

Saturday, 21 March 2015 will represent 55 years since Sharpeville Day when the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) led protest resulted in the brutal death of 69 persons and injury or loss to many of the residents of the township.
History and historians remain divided on the issue and in time will no doubt provide their own interpretation of these events.

Mobile Data on the Increase in SA

According to a report, mobile data traffic in South Africa is expected to have a compound annual growth of 53 percent in the next five years.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018, points out that mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of two exabytes (one quintillion bytes) by 2018.

The report also states that 60 percent of mobile connections in South Africa will be ‘smart’ connections by 2018, up from 20 percent in 2013.

A4AI Aims for Affordable Internet Access

The recently launched Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) says it aims to drive down the cost of broadband Internet access in developing countries.
A4AI, which is supported by 30 companies and organisations, wants to assist in decreasing the broadband Internet access prices below five percent of monthly worldwide income.

The association further argues that this will allow two-thirds of the people currently not connected to connect.

Broadband Delays Bad for Economy - WEF

The rankings by the World Economic Forum (WEF) show that the government's delays in improving broadband Internet access have a negative impact on South Africa's economy.

In 2013, South Africa occupied 70th place in the WEF rankings of 144 countries, according to its ability to benefit from the digital era.

Rankings are determined on the basis of among other things; a country's regulatory and business environment, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and the subsequent impact on the economy and society.

South African ICT Policy Criticised

According to an article titled, ‘Government's ICT policy is slowly strangling SA’ by Alistair Fairweather, the South African government's information and communications technology (ICT) plans could be doing immense long-term damage to the country’s economy.

Fairweather argues that while the Department of Communications has good priorities, making broadband a priority is meaningless unless you make radio spectrum reallocation an equally important priority.

Why the Silence on the Right to Internet Access?

The United Nations Human Rights Council has in the past called the right to freedom and expression ‘one of the essential foundations of a democratic society’. It has recognised the Internet's importance in the "promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression." This subsequently led to a landmark resolution which saw the United Nations declare Internet access a human right because of “the vast potential and benefits of the Internet rooted in its unique characteristics, such as speed, worldwide reach and relative anonymity.

The New Wave: Who uses the Internet?

Who uses the Internet? A student of mine recently said she thought art galleries are frequented by ‘old rich white people’ (she is black). And many seem to believe that the Internet might be more or less as exclusive - at least if we swap ‘young’ for ‘old’. Behind this is a common idea that the Internet is a luxury - for rich (white) people and rich (white) countries.  And so, the thinking goes, in South Africa (SA) we should focus on sorting out the basics - like getting textbooks to Limpopo - before we worry too much about the World Wide Web.

MWEB, Cell C, Announce Broadband Deal

MWEB has announced its partnership with mobile operator, Cell C, aimed at extending its broadband offering.

As part of the deal, MWEB will launch an ‘exclusive promotional offering’ of a 2GB Cell C data package at a discounted rate of just R89 per month.

General manager of MWEB Connect, Carolyn Holgate, points out that, "As a consumer champion, we like the fact that Cell C is shaking up the mobile Internet space in terms of prices and simplicity, and we look forward to partnering with them to offer the best mobile internet deals.”

Broadband Access in SA on the Increase

According to new data contained in the final version of the Internet Access in South Africa 2012, broadband access in South Africa has more than doubled in the last two years, as mobile operators slashed the cost of data and network roll-out accelerated.
Conducted by World Wide Worx, the broadband data, which is analysed in detail in the report, shows that the number of broadband subscriptions grew from 3.6 million at the end of 2010 to an expected 8.2 million by the end of 2012 which is a total of 128 percent growth.


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