PICTURE: SUPPLIED Last week’s sale of Neotel concludes what has been a spectacular failure of government policy. Neotel was created in 2001 to bring competition to Telkom’s then fixed-line monopoly, with a licence for the Second National Operator (SNO).The sale is also an indictment of the incompetence of successive communications ministers — barring the brief efficiency of Yunus Carrim — whose bungling has cost the country untold billions in overpriced telecoms and lost opportunities.The only travesties to compare in scope are the long drawn-out spectrum reallocation for digital terrestrial television (DTT) — with its related encryption of set-top boxes court cases — and the horror show that is Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s censorship of the SABC.The SNO was supposed to bring greater competition to SA telecoms, where Telkom, which was then a rampant abuser of its state-sanctioned monopoly, had the country over a barrel with overpriced voice calls and appalling Internet offerings.Neotel was c...

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