[1 February 2012] A notice was published in today’s Government Gazette extending the period for comment to 29 February 2012. This will no doubt require ICASA to push out the dates for the initiation of its process once again.
The Minister of Communications has published two draft policy directions for public comment. Once finalised the policy directions will be formally issued to ICASA.
Comment is due by 31 January 2011.
The publication of the draft directions appears to have been prompted by ICASA indicating that it was about to publish a Draft Spectrum Assignment Plan for the 800MHz & 2.6GHz bands for comment. ICASA delayed such publication to accommodate the publication of these draft directions. Notwithstanding it is clear that ICASA has been consulting with the Minister on the content of the draft directions and that they have been taken into account in the drafting of the Draft Spectrum Assignment Plan. ICASA has issued a specific media release in this regard – Media Release – ICASA will Consider Minister’s Policy Directions when Licensing High Demand Spectrum.
The draft directions seem to be sensible for the most part and will hopefully assist South Africa to adopt more progressive spectrum management techniques. We particularly welcome the inclusion of TV White Space technology as a matter which ICASA will be directed to investigate – Ellipsis has actively lobbied the previous Minister in this regard on behalf of WAPA.