The Right2Know welcomes the vision of the Draft National Broadband Policy to“ensure universal service and access to reliable, affordable and secure broadband infrastructure and services by 2020 and stimulate sustainable uptake and usage” by all citizens, in particular those living in rural and under-serviced area. The draft policy correctly notes that broadband should be seen as a basic utility like water, roads, electricity and sanitation that must be made available to all on a non-discriminatory basis.
The draft policy points to numerous ‘market failures’ – currently only 2% of households have access to broadband and only 64,8% have no access to the internet. The draft Policy envisages a central role for the State in ensuring the provision of universal access to Broadband, it also however envisages the private sector playing a critical role in service provision. While the draft Policy pays considerable attention to clarifying the roles of various State institutions, it fails to adequately delineate the role of the private sector.
Of great concern the draft policy provides no targets, timeframes or indicators of when and how it will realise its vision. In the Right2Know submission we problematise the envisaged role of the private sector and various government entities, and call for a policy that sets specific targets for access, service, network quality and speed.
Download the R2K Submission here.