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Regulations shut SA out of $225 bn worldwide network boom

12 September 2001 News

The global IP (Internet Protocol) backbone market will be worth $225 billion by 2006, according to current US-based research - but South Africa will only be able to claim its fair share of this pie if regulatory controls over the industry are relaxed.

This is according to Kobus Veldsman, IT Manager for SPS South Africa, a distributor of communications products, who adds, "There seems to be a misconception at Telkom and in government that networking companies wish to challenge the private telephone network in this country.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. All networking companies want is the freedom to set up corporate points of presence where they can use fibre-optic or even satellite links to provide a full range of services such as voice over IP and genuine virtual private networks, which are currently illegal," Veldsman says. "There is an increasing demand for the services that IP networks can offer, and our technology in South Africa is on par with anything in the world," he notes. "It is not the technology holding back the IP market in South Africa, but legislation, plain and simple. As Telkom currently owns the primary backbone and no one else is legally allowed to put in any competing backbone, the state-run monopoly determines the charge rate for data transmissions, and also what type of data can be sent via its infrastructure.

"The legislative restrictions are not conducive to the growth of the country's economy, and will have to be addressed if we want to move forward into the 21st century and be a valid player in the worldwide network boom," Veldsman concludes.

For further information contact Kobus Veldsman, SPS South Africa, (011) 315 6892, kobusv@sps.co.za





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