The Minister of Transport and Communications Tshenolo Mabeo this week said his ministry has developed a Broadband strategy in an effort to address poor Internet services in the country.
Addressing parliament this week, Mabeo said this Strategy provides a holistic and coordinated approach to the implementation of the ICTs ecosystem in the country. “This strategy has been developed with a view to achieve long term strategic outcomes. The overall vision of the Broadband strategy is to connect every citizen, business, communities to a high speed broadband infrastructure at affordable prices.”
Mabeo added that the monitoring of the strategy action plans and deliverables are regularly checked and evaluated. Moreover, he explained that the issue of the quality of Internet service was complex since there were many factors involved. Mabeo said some of these factors included limited data speed and second generation (2G) mobile network, which is widely available through the country. “There is also limited coverage of Third generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) mobile networks, which offer a better Internet experience,” he said.
Moreover, the Minister added that there was limited access to networks, which connects customer premises to the telecommunication network. “Customers (hospitality facilities, residential and other businesses purchase lower data packages and share it among many users.” The minister said another reason for this problem is that some Public telecommunications operators and service providers experience congestion in Internet capacity that they have procured from wholesale providers.
“In order to keep on monitoring the quality of service to ensure the customer gets value for money the Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has acquired a quality monitoring tool.” In addition, Mabeo said operators will use this tool to check the quality of services. “BOCRA will also continue with consumer education and awareness on issues of Quality of Services.” The minister was responding to questions from the MP for Selebi Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse who wanted to know whether, Mabeo was aware of concerns over slow and erratic Internet in the country. Furthermore, Keorapetse wanted to know what caused this slow and unreliable Internet and when the issue will be addressed.