Monday, February 18, 2008

South Africa - failure to reduce costs

DoC denies failure to bring down telecoms costs

The Department of Communications (DoC) denied failing to reduce costs, saying overall the costs did come down.

The high cost of telecoms services in South Africa, especially the price of ADSL and broadband as a whole, remains a hot topic in local telecommunications debates.

During a recent Governmental Infrastructure briefing a journalist asked whether it would be fair to say that the Department of Communications had failed to reduce the cost of telecommunications.

The Minister of Communications, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, responded that a number of factors were involved and that to a large extent the cost of telecommunications had been reduced.

The Director General of Communications, Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole, added that the cost of communications had gone down, but not dramatically.

She cited the use of undersea cables as a reason why other countries’ prices had dropped, and said that once Africa implemented the new cables it would follow suit. She added that data communication costs from mobile providers were very low.

Back in 2005 the Department of Communications hosted two telecommunication colloquiums to discuss the price of telecoms services and to explore ways to reduce these costs. Action was promised within weeks of the second colloquium, but since then very little has come of the two colloquiums.

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