Many of the details of the process for migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial television still need to be debated and finalised, including who will qualify for subsidised set-top boxes, says communications minister Roy Padayachie. Speaking in parliament on Tuesday
The Universal Service and Access Fund was established to bankroll projects that ensure universal access to communications technology for all SA citizens. Instead, a large part of it — if not all of it — is being earmarked for keeping the public watching television
In a surprising move, MWeb is lobbying government to give Telkom the more than R1bn in cash stashed away in the universal service fund so that it can plough that money into upgrading its network. CEO Rudi Jansen is especially keen for the money to be used to upgrade the so-called last mile of copper cables that connect customers to Telkom’s network.
There will soon be clarity on how hundreds of millions of rand in the Universal Service Fund will be spent. The money is meant to be used to facilitate the roll-out of telecommunications infrastructure in underserviced and rural parts of SA, but has remained largely untapped for years. Now Phineas Moleele, the newly appointed CEO at the Universal Service & Access Agency of SA (Usaasa), the government body established to administer the fund, is promising to start using the money in the fund.