Examining the factors that affect the rollout of municipal broadband in Tshwane

Date
2014-02-18
Authors
Jiya, Lebogang
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Abstract
The rollout of broadband through Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) approaches can facilitate socio-economic growth in the country. Effective implementation of broadband programs under the policy guidance of the Department of Communications (DoC) and the Presidential Infrastructure and Coordination Committee (PICC) would enhance the availability of broadband, which in turn could improve delivery of many public and private services. Furthermore, municipalities should be key stakeholdersin promoting broadband rollout, using mechanisms that are suitable for either urban or rural areas. This research report presents a qualitative case study which attempts to establish the challenges for municipal broadband initiatives that are taking effect in South Africa. The study examinesa particular set of factors that affects the rollout of broadband and investigates how factors such as funding levels, technology adaptation, business models,policy intervention and regulatory effects either promote or inhibit broadband deployment. With attention to a single, in-depth case study, the reportconsiders the challenges that the City of Tshwane Municipality has experienced when rolling out pilot projects and the extent to whichthe success of municipal broadband infrastructure rollout depends on policy and regulatory interventions. The Broadband Policy (201 0) adopted by government to facilitate the broadband initiatives has beenreviewed in this ~tudy. The research findings indicate that decisions made in all three spheres of government i.e. national, provincial and local, influence these five factors, thus affecting the rollout of broadband at municipallevei.The findings indicated that the Ministry of Communications is reviewing the current broadband policy to include more detailed guidelines and ICASA is reviewing the regulatory framework. However, it remains unclear whether the importance of the five factors articulated here will be acknowledged in these revisions.Therefore, the recommendations in this report are directed to the policy maker, the Department of Communications and the ICT Policy Review Panel, to take cognisance of the factors that affect municipal broadband rollout. A coordinated inter-governmental approach on broadband initiatives is required to deliver high speed communications infrastructure to citizens.
Description
Thesis (M.M. (ICT Policy and Regulation))--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Graduate School of Public and Development Management, 2013.
Keywords
Broadband , Information and Communication technologies , South Africa
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