Telkom to connect 1 million homes to fibre
The company has so far connected 38 000 homes by the end of August 2015 and 1 317 LTE sites added to the network.The company will double the fibre rollout to 70 000 homes by year-end and will have capacity to connect 150 000 homes by March 2016 and 500 000 by end of 2016.In his address to delegates attending the Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) in Hermanus, Telkom Chief Executive Officer, Sipho Maseko, said Telkom was committed to democratising broadband access.
“We have set ourselves the objective of contributing to transforming the South African economy. South Africa is a developing democracy. We want to accelerate this development,” said Maseko.
While Telkom’s fibre rollout for large metropolitan areas will continue, the company is working with government to provide broadband to under-serviced areas. Maseko said there must be recognition of the digital divide in South Africa. “We must recognise that the issue of access lies at the heart of the divide. You either have access or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. To cross the digital divide, you must provide universal access,” said Maseko.
He thus called on mobile operators to join Telkom to bridge the digital divide. “If we are to overcome the access deficit, and in light of the mobile revolution and the benefits this has engendered, South Africa needs to see wholesale access to the mobile local loop and active sharing of the radio access network. This is an imperative and an important precursor for democratising broadband.
”Maseko called on the telecoms regulators to consider its spectrum strategy to allow for fairer distribution of spectrum.In order to make broadband access meaningful, South Africa should also reconsider import duties which limit broader access to affordable smart devices costing less than R1 000.“
History will judge us one day on how we – government, operators, academia, the regulators and original equipment manufacturers – have used our collective resources to bring about sustainable change and economic development by bringing broadband to our people,” concluded Maseko.
– CAJ News
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