South Africa Launches Broadband Access Fund to Bridge Digital Divide

By : Adoni Conrad Quenum

Date : vendredi, 01 décembre 2023 02:44

Digital transformation offers a huge potential, notably for African countries. To capitalize on those opportunities, countries need to enhance connectivity. This is why like most African countries, South Africa is focused on developing broadband internet. 

South African authorities introduced a Broadband Access Fund on Tuesday, November 28, specifically designed to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) providing internet services in KwaZulu-Natal province. The fund aims to bridge the digital divide by providing partial subsidies to these SMBs, enabling them to connect 50,000 households and establish 3,000 community Wi-Fi access points.

The initiative has already benefited sixteen internet service providers, who will be tasked with extending broadband connectivity to underserved areas and reducing access costs. These efforts are expected to improve broadband penetration, increase employment opportunities, and stimulate economic growth in the region.

"Through the Broadband Access Fund, the government has reduced the cost of data considerably with packages from as little as R5 [~$0.26] per day Wi-Fi connectivity. We are enabling our people to have access to the Internet in an affordable, secure and safe way. We intend to connect more than a million households over the next six months,” commented Mondli Gungubele, South Africa's Minister of Communications.

The establishment of the Broadband Access Fund aligns with the President's job stimulus program, providing partial subsidies to internet service providers. This initiative forms part of the second phase of the SA Connect project, launched on Saturday, November 4, which aims to guarantee all South Africans access to affordable broadband connectivity.

Adoni Conrad Quenum


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