Slow internet irks minister
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Nonofo Molefhi, says he is aware that there was a problem of Internet speed in some areas nationwide, including villages in the Shoshong constituency.
The minister was responding to a question from Shoshong Member of Parliament (MP), Philip Makgalemele. He attributed the problem to limitations in the local access connectivity in some areas while some lacked broadband connectivity linking to the national high fibre backbone.
Molefhi stated that his ministry is currently working with service providers, the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), Mascom, Orange and Internet Service Providers (ISP) to extend and enhance broadband connectivity to all communities around the country. "In the long-term we are developing a National Broadband Strategy that will guide and inform the rollout of the broadband services to all communities," he said.
The strategy will be ready by the end of 2012/2013, with plans to start the implementation following completion, subject to the availability of funds. In a related response from Tswapong North MP, Prince Maele, who wanted to know if the ministry would install mobile phone towers in Malaka and Moletemane villages due to their strategic locations as tourism and agricultural bases, Molefhi said his ministry has consulted the three public telecommunication operators on the issue.
The minister explained that other than Orange, both BTC and Mascom have plans to provide coverage in Malaka and Moletemane. BTC will address its Malaka coverage during the 2012/2013 financial year, while Moletemane coverage plan is scheduled for 2013/2014 fiscal year.