Southern African nations team with Ericsson to develop broadband policies

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The Communications and Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) is teaming up with Ericsson to encourage countries in the region to adopt national broadband policies and lay the groundwork for the growth of Internet services.

CRASA serves nations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are generally considered to lack the necessary expertise to formulate policies that could foster the growth of broadband services.

In addition to accelerating the deployment of Internet services, CRASA’s initiative, if successful, could curb the high cost of broadband in the region, said Edith Mwale, a telecom analyst at Africa Center for ICT Development.

“Broadband services in the SADC region have remained high mainly because there are no broadband policies to provide guidance and even for countries that have them, the policies are vague,” Mwale said. “We expect CRASA’s initiative to change this situation so that people can begin to enjoy the benefits of broadband services.”

Ericsson will provide training geared toward helping SADC nations plan, develop or revise national broadband policies. Information was not immediately available on the monetary value of the deal for Ericsson.

CRASA is a consultative body that was set up by SADC telecommunication regulators to coordinate regulations for the ICT sector in the region.

Executive secretary of CRASA Antony Chigaazira said last week that there has been slow adoption of national broadband policies in the SADC region and that governments have a duty to create an enabling environment for the adoption of broadband.

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