Telkom is working on a plan with the government to put fibre network at public places like schools, hospitals and police stations at zero costs.
The rollout began in Soweto township (Orlando High School), where they get high speed, quality fibre connection, provided by Telkom.
Telkom CEO Sandile Maseko said the fibre connection at the school marks the start of a broader investment into South Africa’s 26 000 estimated schools.
Maseko views the roll out of fibre internet as a catalyst for economic development and education.
With the right technology, Maseko said, this fibre connection can contribute to many other sectors and contribute to revitalising the township economy.
Government’s plan is to ensure that policies and regulations are in place so that Telkom and others are able to roll out internet connectivity throughout the country.
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, said as much as government is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the issue of speed and the quality of the connectivity becomes crucial.
She said while President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on investors to invest in the country, government had to ensure the best infrastructure was in place for their investments. Government will be establishing the Digital Development Fund to assist in the rollout of this infrastructure and move the country towards the realisation of the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP) goals.
Radio frequency spectrum allocation policy
Ndabeni–Abrahams said government is moving towards finalising the radio frequency spectrum allocation policy directive.
She has extensively engaged the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to ensure the regulator is adequately resourced to effectively conduct the spectrum licencing process once the policy directive is issued.
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has reprioritised its finances and has already transferred R10 million to ICASA which will be used to provide for the requisite additional human and financial resources that will be borne by the regulator.
To ensure an inclusive approach, Ndabeni-Abrahams said she has invited sector stakeholders to provide written submissions on their interpretation of the definition of the spectrum licencing process.
Through spectrum licensing, government wants to fast-track 4G spectrum assignment which operators have been waiting for for many years. It will also help transform the sector by attracting new investments while also hastening the growth of mobile communications in the country.