Newly appointed communications minister Roy Padayachie wants to ensure the “local loop”, the so-called “last mile” of copper cables that connect consumers to Telkom’s network, is unbundled within 12 months.
Padayachie says unbundling the local loop is a “critical and important intervention”.
“In this regard, we will work closely with Icasa [the Independent Communications Authority of SA]to ensure that the local loop is unbundled by November 2011,” he says.
Padayachie was speaking at his first media conference since being appointed last week, replacing Siphiwe Nyanda, who was sacked by President Jacob Zuma at the end of last month.
“Digital technologies such as broadband are increasingly becoming an instrument to achieve national development goals,” Padayachie says.
He says the department will work on an integrated national broadband plan to ensure the country has an “efficient, competitive and responsive ICT infrastructure”, which he says is “critical to propel SA into a knowledge-based economy”.
“This would require that government continue to implement a programme to ensure the liberalisation of the ICT sector in order to promote competition.” — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral