Now let’s build broadband, says Namibia

Now let’s build broadband, says Namibia

According to recent reports in the southern African press, Namibia's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) last week launched its National Broadband Policy together with what it calls an Implementation Action Plan.

Namibia’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simaata, officially launched both initiatives, which were first outlined in October 2019.

Both the National Broadband Policy and the Implementation Action Plan have the shared aim of achieving reliable and affordable broadband access infrastructure services for all. An enabling environment for universal access to broadband infrastructure is to be created and with it an informed, ICT-smart Namibia with access to quality broadband connectivity.

More specifically, the policy has the ambitious aim of providing broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps to 95 per cent of the population by 2024, promoting the development of content and applications, reducing the digital divide, and providing incentives for further investment in broadband deployment.

There’s a ten-year programme (to 2029) for the policy. The implementation plan is to be carried out over five years and is designed, it is claimed, to ensure effective delivery from the outset.

Presenting the policy to a parliamentary standing committee on ICT and innovation, the minister described broadband as a “technology that can fundamentally restructure an economy", boosting GDP growth, jobs, trade, service delivery and social development.

A reliable, nationally available service is also seen as important in the light of the likely arrival of 5G technology in the timeframe of the Policy’s implementation programme.