SA govt fast tracks ICT programme
The South African government plans to begin digital migration this year, and has finalised its national broadband programme.
The Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, said early this month, the government launched the Proof of Concept for Digital Terrestrial Television or DTT. “As we move towards digital migration let me add that Government will provide a 70% subsidy towards the cost of the Set Top Boxes or decoders to 5 million of the poorest TV-owning households.
The specifications for the decoders include internet capability and will ensure that millions of South Africans are given a ticket to the digital age. We envisage that the commercial rollout of DTT will occur in December.”
She added that the national Broadband Strategy and Implementation Plan had been finalised. The government planned to meet stakeholders to discuss the national broadband path before the end of this year, she said. “We remain steadfast in achieving our target of 100 percent broadband penetration by 2020.”
The Minister conceded that South Africa had been slow to respond to new opportunities presented by ICT development.
However, she highlighted the government’s moves to speed up ICT development and called on the private sector to intensify its efforts to assist in expanding the sector.