[ubuntu-za] [OT] Fwd: Your support needed for a comprehensive National Broadband Strategy for SA

Marius Kruger amanic at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 15:30:25 BST 2009


EE-News
News and announcements from EE Publishers Issue 44, April 2009


Your support requested for a comprehensive National Broadband Strategy
for SA - please read and sign

This email is sent on behalf of the South African National Broadband
Forum, comprising the Shuttleworth Foundation, SANGONeT, South Africa
Connect and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
Please read it, read the strategy framework and sign the framework
electronically to indicate your support.

The South African National Broadband Forum will hand over a proposed
broadband policy framework to the new Minister of Communications at
the first sitting of Parliament after the South African elections of
22 April 2009, to emphasise the importance of high-speed Internet
access to all South Africans as a "national priority".

The Forum is a coalition of four organisations which share the common
goal of creating cheaper and affordable access for South African
citizens, namely the Shuttleworth Foundation, SANGONeT, South Africa
Connect, and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
A draft framework has been developed with input from business,
non-profit and education stakeholders and serves as a basis to build a
comprehensive, all-inclusive broadband strategy to boost economic and
social development, and in particular education in South Africa.
Steve Song, Telecommunications Fellow, at The Shuttleworth Foundation,
says the election of a new government provides an opportunity to look
at the policy framework with a fresh approach.
"Around the world governments are moving from centralised,
hierarchical structures to more responsive and interactive modes of
operation that are enabled through affordable broadband access," he
adds.
The Shuttleworth Foundation is founded in an open philosophy that
includes the promotion of open source, open standards and open
information access with the belief that sharing stimulates change and
broadens horizons. It is the further belief of the Shuttleworth
Foundation that in an African context this open philosophy is key to
progress and an enabler for education.

Unfortunately, Song says, for the last five years the
telecommunications industry has provided very little growth in the
economy because the South African Government has failed in its
liberalisation efforts. Progress was marred by politics, cronyism and
infighting, which stifled competition at the cost of the consumer.
"As we transition into a new Government, we see the opportunity to
mobilise public opinion of all sectors of society to communicate that
broadband is a critical requirement for South Africa's development.
"All South Africans should have affordable broadband access to the
Internet. In fact, broadband should be recognised as an essential
right, in line with other basic infrastructure such as water, sewerage
and electricity," says Song.
The Forum proposes that current fibre and wireless broadband
infrastructure in urban and rural areas should be maximised in an
equitable and environmentally responsible manner by operators.
It proposes that high-speed broadband access will in turn stimulate
the creation of commerce and digital broadband content by content
providers, such as educators, so that Government's mandate of
affordable learning and teaching can be fully realised. Other sectors,
such as health care, government services and job creation will also
benefit.
The South African National Broadband Forum aims to see affordable
broadband access in every town and village in South Africa by 2014, to
claim its place as number one in terms of broadband penetration on the
continent.
The Forum invites organisations and individuals to view the strategy
framework document on its web site and digitally sign it as an
endorsement, which will be included in the hard copy strategy document
that to be handed to the minister.
For more information visit:
The South African National Broadband Forum
The Shuttleworth Foundation
Association for Progressive Communications
South Africa Connect
SANGOnet




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Your support requested for a comprehensive National Broadband Strategy for SA
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