August 30, 2012
National Treasury has been leading a market sounding on behalf of Government, with a view to gaining an understanding of the approaches for achieving the targeted 100% broadband coverage by 2020 and the associated fiscal support that may be required to catalyse the rollout.
WAPA was invited to participate in this, earlier in the week.
Although there was a DOC representative present, their objective was to look at broadband rollout from a treasury, rather than regulatory point of view.
WAPA Chair, Christopher Geerdts, gave the presentation, and was accompanied by WAPA members Jabulani Vilakazi and Johan Kruger, as well as WAPA regulatory advisor, Sumaiyah Makda.
WAPA’s message was as follows:
1. We are here and we are significant players, collectively, in both rural and urban spaces.
2. We are doing a lot with relatively little. (WAPA members’ needs were raised)
Further points raised were:
• Any funding for Telkom, Neotel and Broadband Infraco must have the mandate adjusted to encourage or force them to work with local WISPs and not waste resources ‘going it alone’. We advised them that we are working with these entities already, but a nudge is always good.
• In the low income housing sector, government and banks found workable lending models. We also need models suited to our type of business, so that banks are more keen to invest.
Christopher notes that “Judging from the copious notes they took and the specific questions asked, we got a good message across and have raised our profile. We realise we need to keep up the pressure and awareness-raising energy. It was really helpful to have two operators present to give inputs from direct experience and to support our arguments.” and we thank Jabulani and Johan for volunteering to participate.
Click here to download the presentation.