The slow connectivity of internet in Botswana has been blamed on the frequent power cuts that have besieged the country in the recent years.
Participants at the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Pitso which was held recently decried the persistent slow internet connectivity despite efforts by government to upgrade connectivity with Eassy and WACS submarine cables. It is said that this has impacted negatively on the businesses that operate through internet. In an interview regarding this matter, the Minister of Transport and Communications Tshenolo Mabeo acknowledged the problem caused by the frequent power cuts. He said that the challenge together with that of accessibility to land has been identified as the most challenging for operators.
He cited an example of the case between Bakgatla and local mobile network provider Mascom after the latter’s tower was destroyed.“Power cuts have caused so much inconvenience to the ICT sector because when once electricity goes then internet connectivity becomes very slow. But it is not the only problem as operators are also challenged to acquire land to put their transmitters to expand broadband. But we are in discussion with the Minister of Lands and Housing and other stakeholders to get these issues resolved. We want where possible, some land reserved for them,” he said.
He said that all the three operators have been forced to fork over P250 million each to get power generators and this has affected their rollout plan to increase internet connectivity. He also stated that through the Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFINET) government is helping in developing a fibre infrastructure which is expected to improve fibre network and competitiveness in the downstream telecommunications market. It is also expected to increase internet access by households. Mascom Wireless and Orange Botswana have introduced superfast broadband access technologies ranging from 2G, LTE to 4G. Both are intended to help increase speed connectivity to internet.