DoC Unveils Revised Broadband Policy

The Department of Communications has unveiled a revised broadband policy, which it hopes will garner Cabinet approval by March 2013, to help plug ‘broadband gaps’ across the country and achieve its Vision 2020 target.

The policy, approved in 2010, was revised after the department found it did not have adequate provisions to support the target - 100 percent broadband penetration by 2020 - as agreed with the telecommunications industry.

Predatory Cyber Crime in South Africa: Current Risks and Realities

Nearly a year ago, a specialist in software risk management and data storage, Marthinus Engelbrecht, warned that while statistics on violent crimes in South Africa hit the headlines every day because of their severity, cyber crimes were much more common and had a much bigger impact (The New Age, 14 September 2011). Crime analysts and commentators have regularly warned about the insidious nature of cyber crime, and, occasionally predicted an upswing in its occurrence.

Fixed-Line Broadband Use Declines in SA

Fixed-line broadband use in South Africa continues to decline as more users switch to cellphone Internet connections - which are more expensive but more convenient.

Fixed-line penetration has fallen to fewer than four million connections this year, compared with 5.5 million connections 12 years ago.

Last year there were enough cellphones in circulation for every South African to have one.

Broadband Migration to Create Jobs

The Department of Communications says that the 100 percent migration to broadband by 2020 will create one million jobs.

Communications Minister, Dina Pule's projections came at the time when Statistics South Africa announced that unemployment rose to 25.2 percent in the first quarter from 23.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Apart from the 23 500 jobs expected from the manufacture of set-top boxes in the 2012-13 fiscal year, Pule provided no detail on how these one million jobs will be created.

Another Broadband for Africa in 2012

France Telecom says a fibre-optic cable from France to South Africa will go online in the second half of 2012, bringing high-speed internet links to a host of west African countries.

In a press statement, France Telecom, which heads the 17-member consortium running the project, says the 17 000km underwater Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable was originally due to become operational in early 2012.

NGO Calls for Cheaper Broadband

The Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) says that if the government is serious about media freedom and access to news for all income groups, it should make sure everyone has access to affordable broadband.

MMA director, William Bird, points out that access to affordable broadband will ensure genuine diversity and involvement and it will force media whose models do not cater for the digital environment to evolve, adding that, “They will have to engage and cater for this growing audience which will have equal access."

Pledge to Provide Broadband Access

Minister of Communications, Roy Padayachie, says the government's pledge to provide broadband access for all South Africans will be like a blood transfusion into the economy.

The Department of Communications recently set itself the ambitious target of creating a million jobs in the information and communication technology sector by 2020, along with broadband access for all.

Padayachie says that the department wants to provide broadband to the homes of all South Africans, adding that a minimum connection speed of 1Mbps is desirable.

Vodacom Slashes Broadband Prices

Mobile operator, Vodacom, has slashed its broadband standard data prices by up to 43 percent, a move that will see customers pay as little as 14c a megabyte.

Vodacom CEO, Pieter Uys, points out that, "We hope these price reductions will contribute to making the internet more affordable and give our customers an enhanced connected experience."

The company further says that in addition to the savings, all existing and new Vodacom contract customers will be given another allocation of the same size as the subscribed data bundle to use anytime between midnight and 5am.

New Broadband Packages for Cell C

Cell C is introducing new 10 gigabytes and 20 gigabytes broadband packages at rates as low as 3c/megabyte as South Africa’s broadband price war gathers in intensity.

From 1 August, the company will introduce a 10GB/month package, including a 7.2Mbit/s MyZone router or 21.6Mbit/s USB modem, for R499/month on contract for 12 months or R4 999 once-off on prepaid.

The new products come just weeks after 8ta, Telkom’s mobile operator, introduced a special offer of 10 gigabytes of data for R199/month, excluding modem.

Vodacom Launches High Speed Network

Mobile operator, Vodacom, has unveiled its new double-speed 43.2Mbps network in South Africa.
Vodacom’s executive head of media relations, Richard Boorman, points out that this is something that the company has been working on for a while and it is double the speed of what Cell C called 4G.
Boorman states that more than 1 000 base stations in metropolitan areas across the country have been enabled with this new SuperMobile technology, and this will increase to 2 000 base stations during May.


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