Internet Solutions demands ICASA policy changes

Internet Solutions demands ICASA policy changes

Internet Solutions (IS) has requested the inclusion of strategic changes for South African communication to be implemented within the draft of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Amendment Bill.

The goal of the Amendment Bill is to prompt reduced costs to consumers, effective competition in the market and an equal playing field for all operators.

HumanIPO reported earlier this month Dr Tracy Cohen, chief corporate services officer at Neotel calling for ICASA to put rural connectivity at the top of its agenda.

IS will present its plans for change this week to the parliamentary committee involved in the construction of the ICASA Amendment Bill.

Siyabonga Madyibi, executive for regulatory affairs at IS, said: “The fact that there have been no adjustments to legislation for seven years in an industry that evolves on an almost daily basis has turned the law into a significant impediment to the agility of the communications sector.”

He believes change is needed for the benefit of both consumers and businesses to become globally competitive.

“If government is going to amend the law now, we believe it should take the opportunity to make profound changes that will not only align the local industry with existing international benchmarks but also equip it to stay abreast of future developments,” he said.

Emphasising the need for strategic alterations in the bill, Madyibi said updates should be to the point rather than “so vague as to keep ICASA paralysed”.

Targeting areas which have been omitted rather than addressing its content, IS stressed the topic of wholesale call termination for making smaller operations sustainable, as well as dominating versus minority stakeholders in the market.

Cost reduction is also considered a “vital” part of the policy.

“We believe that legislation should be designed to create a competitive market so that operators can give consumers choice and affordability,” Madyibi said.

 “Everything falls into place when you consider the consumer first.”

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