Negotiating the Net: The Internet in South Africa (1990–2003)

Charley Lewis


The adoption of an analytical approach based on the examination of “Critical Negotiation Issues” provides a vehicle for a richly textured account of policy contestation from the perspective of its participant actors. This approach also accounts for the impact of such contestation on the diffusion of the Internet in a developing country such as South Africa. By tracking issues that have high relevance to the development of the Internet, that are highly contested, and which, if left unresolved, will impede diffusion, the changing policy environment and its impact can be better understood. In the case of South Africa four “Critical Negotiation Issues” in particular have impacted the development of the Internet: competition between ISPs and IAPs; access to facilities; telecommunications liberalization, privatization, and deregulation; and e-commerce policy.


Internet; South Africa; Critical Negotiation Issues; Development; ISP, IAP, Telecommunications

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