Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC)
[17 May 2009] World Information Society Day Commemoration

This is a rural development programme aimed at providing telecommunications services to rural communities. All together, a total of One Hundred and Ninety Seven (197) villages/communities have been identified for the program. The aim of the project is to; Supply, Install Commission, carry out Operation and Maintenance of network infrastructure in rural Botswana. Mascom and BTC have signed contracts for two areas 2 and 4. Area 1 and Area 3 contracts are still to be awarded. The implementation process has started with BTC & Mascom and expected to be completed in December of 2010.

East Africa Sub-marine System

The project implements East Africa Sub-marine System undersea fibre cable connecting countries along the east coast of Africa (Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa).

The EASSy project is now in the operational phase and Botswana is an investor in the project. The project will be completed and ready to carry traffic in June 2010.

West African Cable System

This a newly started undersea cable project initiative called West African Cable System (WACS) and is led by private telecommunications operators  in South Africa and has thirteen (13) consortium members which are; Broadband Infraco (South Africa), Telkom South Africa (South Africa), Vodacom (South Africa), Neotel (South Africa’s second network operator), MTN (Dubai), Telecom Namibia (Namibia), Angola Telecom (Angola) Tata Communications Limited  (Bermuda), Portugal Telecom (Portugal), Cable & Wireless (UK), AT&T (USA), Togo Telecom (Togo) and SOTELCO (Congo Brazzaville).  The system is to run from South Africa (Cape Town) to Portugal (Seixal) and UK (London) with intermediate landings along the west coast of Africa. The WACS cable complements the capacity acquired in EASSy by providing additional capacity and alternative connectivity to Europe. The project is led by private telecommunication operators who have an urgent requirement for additional capacity in the region and the whole of Africa. The cable is expected to be ready for commercial service in the first quarter of 2011.

Development of the Postal Policy

The project seeks to develop the Postal Sector Policy and the supporting legislation, regulations and licensing framework. The Draft Policy and the Bill is still to be approved by parliament.

Universal Service and Access (USA) Policy

The developed USA Policy shall cover the whole communications sector, comprising telecommunications, internet related services, the postal, broadcast and print media (electronic and print). The vision is that all Batswana will have Universal service with affordable voice communications and access to internet and ICT services, regardless of their location within the country. A fund will be established through the policy to Finance universal services. The draft policy has been completed and is awaiting approval by Cabinet and the bill awaits cabinet approval which is planned for the next parliamentary seating. The Fund will be established pending the approval of the bill.

Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA)

The project aims at establishing a converged regulatory authority to be known as the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority.  The new authority will be responsible for regulatory oversight of broadcasting, internet, postal and telecommunications. The intention is to come up with a legislation that will establish a new regulatory body. The Cabinet has approved the drafting of the bill.

ICT Internal Reticulation Regulations

The study intends to assess and establish requirements to facilitate regulations for ICT internal ducting and cabling including wireless where appropriate, for Government and Commercial buildings to be a mandatory part of approval process of building designs. The goal is to provide for the minimum installation of cabling systems resulting in operational performance of Botswana government and the commercial sector. The study is expected to start mid 2009.

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