CEOs to work with government to roll out fibre in rural areas

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Telecommunications sector CEOs made a commitment on Tuesday to work with government to roll out fibre in rural communities and connect communities to the Internet grid.

This as communications & digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and sector CEOs signed the Industry Stakeholder Principles of Excellence. The pact was signed at the FTTX Council Conference in Sandton.

Working with government and other stakeholders, the industry leaders have committed to, among other things, strive to achieve digital inclusion, ongoing investment and contribution to job creation as well as ethics in doing business.

“We envisage that sector collaboration will significantly reduce the time to deploy broadband infrastructure and services while minimising duplication of infrastructure. We also believe that the industry will play an integral role in assisting government to realise its policy aspiration of increasing broadband speed from 10Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

“Today, we know that fibre is potentially the most critical component of all telecommunications infrastructure. We have come to realise that without fibre we will not enter the 5G race,” said the minister.

Andile Ngcaba, president of the FTTX Council Africa, said they were looking forward to working with government in deploying fibre to rural communities.

Coordination centre

The department has established a virtual rapid deployment coordination centre with the objective of coordinating and ultimately accelerating the infrastructure deployment process to enable sustainable and environmentally sound deployment of critical broadband infrastructure and to ensure rapid deployment of ICT infrastructure to support government programmes.

“As government, our role in all of these exciting trends is that of an enabler; from a policy, legislative and regulatory perspective. With these instruments we seek to coordinate and facilitate an inclusive growth that benefits all the masses of our people.

“To this end, it gives me great pleasure to advise you that the department has made significant progress in its aims to support industry in achieving its goals,” the minister said.  — SANews

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