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SA battles to boost broadband

4 September 2006
South Africa is looking for new ways to boost its international bandwidth to help slash sky-high tariffs for high-speed internet access, a top government official said on Monday.

Deputy Minister of Communications Radhakrishna Padayachie told an internet conference the existing SAT-3 submarine cable linking West Africa to the rest of the world and a planned cable around the east of the continent were insufficient to meet the broadband requirements of Africa's biggest economy.

"There are plans to look at investing in other options and to eradicate the problems of international broadband," Padayachie told the conference. He gave no further details.

South Africa relies mainly on the SAT-3 cable for international connectivity but the cable is controlled by state-controlled fixed-line operator Telkom, which consumer groups accuse of overcharging customers.

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