South African Minister of Communications, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, recently told Parliament that South Africans will enjoy greater access to broadband in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup scheduled to be conducted in South Africa. According to MyADSL:
She also boasted that South Africa would be one of the few countries in the world where every game of the 2006 Fifa World Cup would be shown using DVB-H, which enables TV broadcasts to be received on cellphones. South Africa, together with Finland, Germany, Italy and France, was in the trial stage, she said, adding: “This cutting-edge technology has yet to be commercially launched anywhere in the world. South Africa is showcasing the technologies of tomorrow today!
As she introduced her budget in the national assembly, she told MPs that the government had to ensure that the broadband backbone was robust enough to meet socioeconomic development, business and the science and research needs of the country.
The government had decided to examine the contribution that state-owned industries could make to achieve affordable broadband access and a policy decision would be announced soon, she said.
Apparently Sentech, state-owned signal distributor, will be the focal point of this effort to afford South African’s better access to broadband in the near future.
This is all well and good but the minister has been promising broadband for quite some time now and all she need do is crack the whip over Telkom’s (and any other network’s) head and implement changes to the pricing structure of telecommunications services in South Africa to facilitate true broadband. Instead the minister makes promise after promise which all contain the right buzzwords and yet accomplishes very little.