Draft Electronic Communications Amendment Bill
The deadline for submissions is now 31 January 2018. Telkom’s CEO has penned an opinion piece setting out the merits of pursuing a wireless open access network (WOAN) model. In many ways, Telkom would make sense as a bidder for the WOAN licences. Smile and Dimension Data both appear to have moved away from having an interest or being in a position to execute an interest and it is far from clear who else is interested. The Free Market Foundation continues to trash talk the Bill, arguing – creatively, but without merit – that the Bill is anti-competitive and will raise data prices.
Extension of due date ECA Bill GG 41312_Notice 1390 | In defence of the Woan, by Sipho Maseko |
Operators given more time on contentious telecoms bill | Media release: ECA Bill is anti-competitive, unconstitutional and will raise data prices.
No progress. It is not yet known whether the CSIR has delivered its final, adjusted report into the spectrum requirements of the WOAN to the Minister (who would in turn submit this to Cabinet for consideration).
Indications are that the deadline which replaced the previously replaced deadline is to be replaced, with the target date for completion of the digital migration being pushed out another year to 31 December 2019.
Cost to communicate – End user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations
ICASA plans to hold public hearings on the matter from 7 – 9 February 2018 and aims to promulgate final regulations by 31 March 2017. Copies of submissions made are available from the link in the next column. There is a fairly stark divide between those for and against the proposals: if ICASA pushes ahead there is likely to be court action from the incumbent operators.
The deadline for submissions on ICASA’s draft number portability regulations has been extended to 29 January 2018. The regulations propose, inter alia, allowing porting of non-geographic numbers in the 086 and 087 number ranges.
The revocation of net neutrality rules in the United States has raised the local profile of the issue, with the DTPS affirming its commitment to the principle and its intention to introduce it into law, probably through amendments to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Amendment Bill to be introduced into Parliament in 2018. Conversion of the detail set out in the ICT White Paper into regulation will fall to ICASA or to the regulator-tobe-created-to-replace-ICASA. This will not be a priority issue for either the Department or the regulator.