[4 August 2023] The deadline for comments on the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, 2022 has been extended to 31 August 2023.
[23 June 2023] The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has published draft amendments to the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) for public comment.
The Competiton Commission’s Data Services Market Inquiry Final Report, published on 2 December 2019, made recommendations to the DCDT on amendments to the ECA which would facilitate competition and lowering the cost to communicate. The ECAB 2022 seeks to implement these recommendations.
The most important features:
- A new licensing category – electronic communications facilities service (ECFS) – is proposed to bring pure electronic communications infrastructure providers such as tower companies into the ambit of the ECA.
- The facilities leasing framework is to be reworked to place “principles of access” as central to determining whether there is an obligation on an ECNS or ECFS licensee to lease a facility upon request.
- ICASA’s powers to review markets for competition failures and to impose pro-competitive conditions on licensees have been overhauled and simplified, while the scope for cooperation between ICASA and the Competition Commission has been broadened.
- A new chapter introduces an obligation on certain licensees to provide a platform for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and roaming services on request.
- New provisions to facilitate spectrum sharing and the implementation of a “use-it-or-share-it” rule.
We have prepared an overview for those allergic to overwhelming jargon and legalese: Overview Electronic Communications Amendment Bill 2022 (June 2023)
Submissions are due by 4 August 2023 and may be submitted to:
The Acting Director-General, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies
For attention: Mr. A Wiltz, Chief Director, Telecommunications and IT Policy
Per email: email@example.com