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SA Connect: getting off the ground

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Kathy Gibson reports from SATNAC 2015 – The South African government is beginning to implement its broadband policy, SA Connect, with a number of initiatives to be rolled out this year.
This is the word from Dr Siyabonga Cwele, minister of telecommunications and postal services, addressing delegates at the South African Telecommunications and Network Applications Conference (SATNAC) this morning.
“In the next 90 days we hope to finalise the long and transparent negotiation for partnership with the lead implementation agent,” he says.
During the coming months, broadband rollout will begin to government offices and to municipalities – a process which Telkom has already begun to implement.
Rural broadband initiatives are also underway, Minister Cwele says.
The department hopes to finalise the ICT White Paper during this financial year as well, he says, with the intention of enabling the rapid deployment of a broadband infrastructure and open network.
The minister stresses the importance of an open access network and says the government welcomes a multi-stakeholder approach to building out infrastructure.
“It must be government-led, though,” he says. “It must incorporate the interests of security, human rights and business interest.
“It must also cast a focus on to the future, embracing future applications and services that will increasingly rely on services like multi-lingualism, security and identity management.”