INFOTECH: Telecoms Decision Welcomed
Recent Western Cape Business News
The Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the decision by the Minister of Communications, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, not to appeal against the recent court judgement which effectively opens up the telecoms sector to real competition.
“We can now expect to see more investment and activity in a sector that has been dominated by Telkom for too long,” said Mr Jeremy Wiley, President of the Chamber.
The Telkom monopoly had given South Africa a legacy of high telecommunications costs and poor service. This had had a depressing effect on the industry leading to technical stagnation. “As a result the use of broadband is well below what it should be and the country is lagging far behind its competitors.”
He said the judgment meant that about 300 companies would now be allowed to build their own voice and data networks and this, together with the progress Neotel was making and the new undersea cables, would revolutionise telecommunications in South Africa.
Business had long been concerned about slow progress and high telecommunications costs and therefore welcomed the development. “It means that we will now see one sector of our beleaguered economy grow rapidly and at the same time lower communications costs will be a welcome relief for most other businesses.”
Mr Wiley pointed out that the liberalisation of the sector would also open up opportunities for a wide range of new ventures from call centres to on-line shopping and delivery services.
“We welcome this as a piece of good news in a time when the outlook has become bleak for many companies.”
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