Hanno Labuschagne 7 November 2020
The rollout of fibre in South Africa could soon be faster and more effective, according to major fibre network operators.
This is if the regulations contained in the Proposed Policy and Policy Direction on the Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communications Networks and Facilities come into effect.
This policy was gazetted by Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams back in July.
The purpose of the proposed policy direction is to direct ICASA to prescribe regulations on procedures and processes for resolving disputes that may arise between an electronic communications network service licensee and private or public landowners with regards to infrastructure rollout.
This includes the construction of mobile network towers for LTE and 5G connectivity, as well as fixed-broadband infrastructure, which are intended to improve broadband connectivity for South Africans.
Under current legislation, fibre network operators must acquire permission from private property owners or public authorities before they can build infrastructure.
According to major network operators – including Link Africa, Liquid Telecom, MetroFibre Networx, and Vumatel – the current processes lack the necessary standards to allow for effective fibre rollouts and result in big delays which can stretch from months to over a year.