Do Open Access Wireless Networks Threaten Competition and Investment?

The lacuna in South Africa’s national broadband policy on how to implement open access in order to contribute to national policy objectives prompted Research ICT Africa (RIA) to investigate whether open access strategies could be the policy and regulatory panacea to poor network extension and high costs of broadband . It finds that while mandatory open access interventions have failed, voluntary commercial open access models have contributed more effectively and efficiently to national objectives of network extension and wholesale cost reductions. Both commercial open access international undersea cable companies and terrestrial fibre companies challenged closed, incumbent networks by making investments on an open access basis and strongly contributing to the extension of broadband networks.