These regulations – published under section 88(2) of the ECA on 10 September 2012 (GG 35675) – define the term “Underserviced area” and sets out a list of district/local/ metropolitan municipalities together with percentages for Internet / Computer / Telephone/ Cellphone penetration based on the Stats SA 2007 Household Survey. Presumably these figures will be used to determine the “national average” as set out in (ii) of the definition of “Underserviced Area” but the methodology is not spelt out

 Under-Serviced Area Definition Regulations, 2012

“Underserviced Area” is any area with a local or district municipality in which:

(i)      no electronic communications network has been constructed;


(ii)     an electronic communications network has been constructed, but coverage of the inhabited parts of the area, fall below the national average; or

(iii)    an electronic communications network has been constructed, but over which no or, limited electronic communications services or broadcasting services are being provided

as determined by the Authority from time to time.

There is an accompanying Memorandum which:

  • Sets out how these regulations relate to the determination of what constitutes “universal access” made by the Minister on 8 Feb 2010 (GG32939) & work previously done by USAASA
  • Notes that the definition of “Underserviced Area” relates to inhabited parts of the area in question, so coverage is linked to population
  • Clarifies that these regulations relate to defining areas and a decision was taken that they should not attempt to deal with affordability and other economic aspects of service provision