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South Africa’s ISP concerns; proposal on IT white paper

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa), a body that represents many of South Africa’s ISPs, has accused communications regulator Icasa of ignoring a policy directive from telecommunications and postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele over competition in broadband, reports TechCentral. Ispa has accused Icasa of instead focusing on voice termination rates – the fees operators charge to switch calls between their networks – while ignoring the pricing of mobile data services, which, it contended, have more of an impact on consumers. “Effective competition in the mobile data services used by consumers is the key to making broadband more affordable for all South Africans. There is, however, an unfortunate lack of urgency on the part of the communications regulator to confront the mobile network operators on this issue,” Ispa said in a statement. The body said Cwele issued an urgent policy directive to Icasa on 3 March last year requiring it to prioritise an inquiry that would finalise regulations to ensure effective competition in broadband services. “A full year later, little appears to have been done,” it said. Meanwhile, Cwele is considering a proposal from six South African telecoms operators that could help overcome the impasse between the industry and government over the contentious ICT policy white paper. TechCentral says the proposal – which is for a “hybrid” model that involves both the allocation of exclusive-use spectrum to the operators and to a new wholesale open-access network favoured by government – has been advanced in the hope of avoiding a messy legal battle over the policy paper. Read more and here.

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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