Zimbabwe ready to roll with broadband plan
Zimbabwe’s government has given the country’s National Broadband Plan the thumbs up, and officially approved the strategy to roll out broadband services nationally within the next seven years.
The country aims to reduce the cost of broadband access from the current rate of 10.1% of a Zimbabwean’s average monthly income, to 2%.
According to an August 2022 Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) report, in Zimbabwe, the average price of 1GB of data is US$4.92, with the cheapest plan being US$1.73 and the most expensive being US$12.92.
The country’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the plan will promote access to- and adoption of broadband services in order to transform Zimbabwe’s growth trajectory “from largely being driven by the exploitation of natural resources to innovation-driven growth.”
Mutsvangwa said increased internet access will enhance the country’s global competitiveness, create more jobs and improve national security.
In 2020, the country’s telecommunications sector regulator, the Post and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) released details of its National Broadband Plan consultation paper and said US$125-million was needed to roll out broadband nationally.
The regulator added that 1, 848km of fibre would have to be laid in addition to the deployment of complementary backhaul transmission systems to feed access nodes.
The Minister confirmed the government will take a leading role in raising funds, but added that it was also seeking partnerships with private investors.
A committee will be established to oversee progress and facilitate coordination and collaboration.
Mutsvangwa said, “The vision of the plan is to have an all-inclusive digital society powered by premier innovation by 2030.”