ISPA co-chair appointed to National Broadband Advisory Council

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Graham Beneke, co-chairman of the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), and a network engineer, has been appointed to the National Broadband Advisory Council, the association said in a statement today.

The National Broadband Advisory Council was launched by former communications minister Yunus Carrim, on 4 March. Subsequently, the department was split into two, with Siyabonga Cwele heading up the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, and Faith Muthambi leading what is left of the Department of Communications.

Beneke has welcomed his appointment, saying it presents a good opportunity for ISPA to provide an industry perspective as the country's broadband policy, SA Connect, is implemented.

"As the industry body representing the country's Internet service providers, ISPA has much practical insight to offer, and also provides a ready-made channel through which the council and the minister can communicate with an important role-player in the world of broadband," Beneke says. "Improving access to broadband, particularly the speeds on offer, is a vital part of enabling growth, and ISPA is pleased to be involved."

Alison Gillwald, executive director at Research ICT Africa, says the broadband council established by Carrim in March was set up to provide continuity between administrations - an aim that appears to be on track. "I believe former minister Carrim has briefed minister Cwele on SA Connect and that he will attend the next [broadband] council meeting." Cwele is set to publicly outline his strategy and priorities "within days".

At the council's inaugural meeting, it was agreed that representation from the industry would be beneficial, and Beneke's appointment followed, says ISPA. The council is chaired by Sibusiso Sibisi, president of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with Gillwald as deputy chair.

The full list is as follows:

1. Sibusiso Sibisi (chairperson) - CSIR

2. Alison Gilwald (deputy chairperson) - Research ICT Africa

3. Sunil Maharaj - University of Pretoria

4. Jesse Maluleke - Toproot

5. Arthur Goldstuck - World Wide Worx

6. Bernie Fanaroff - SKA Project South Africa

7. Geoffrey Qhena - IDC

8. Mlamli Booi - Z-Comms

9. Mandla Msimang - Pygma Consulting

10. Laurens Cloete - CSIR

11. Loren Braithwaite-Kabosha - SACF

12. Graham Beneke - ISPA

13. Christopher Forlee - BP South Africa

14. James Hodge - Genesis Analytics

15. Phillipa Biggs - International Telecommunications Union

16. Tim Kelly - World Bank

17. Rosey Sekese - government

18. Simphiwe Makhathini - Department of Public Enterprises

19. Arvril Halstead - National Treasury

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