National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper - Part 4

Posted by LA Thornton on Monday, December 5, 2016
The National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper was published 26 September 2016.  The White Paper deals with many issues.  In this part IV of the series, we will look at the rapid deployment policy, dealing with how licensees acquire rights of ways to construct or install infrastructure. 

Background

The Electronic Communications Act (EC Act) grants to all electronic communications network service (ECNS) licensees certain rights regarding access to land, including, inter alia, the following. 
  • to e...

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National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper - Part 3

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper (White Paper or ICT Policy) has been published, 26 September 2016.   In this part 3 of a series, we unpack the spectrum policy (including the issue of a wireless open access network). 

The White Paper rightly characterizes the policy on spectrum as a paradigm shift.  As such, amendments to existing legislation will be required before the policy can be effected.  Some of the specifics are discussed herein.

There are three aspects of the spectrum pol...

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National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper - Part 2

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper (White Paper) was published 26 September 2016.  Although the White Paper deals with many issues, there appear to be three pillars upon which it rests.  First, is the concept of open access. Second, is the issue of spectrum assignments.  Third, is the rapid deployment policy dealing with how licensees acquire rights of ways.  

In this part II of the series, we will look at the open access policy (excluding the issue of a wireless open access networ...

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Namibian High Court rules licence fee provision in Communications Act unconstitutional

Posted by LA Thornton on Thursday, October 20, 2016
The Namibian High Court in Windhoek has ruled that section 23(2)(a) of the Communications Act is unconstitutional.  Section 23(1) permits the regulator, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran), to make regulations setting out licence fees.  Section 23(2) provides ways to do this.  Section 23(2)(a) provides that Cran may tie the fees to the revenue of licensees.  

The court ruled that section 23(2)(a) permits Cran to impose fees without carrying out a estimated costs of relega...
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National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper - Part 1

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, October 12, 2016
The National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, dated 26 September 2016, has been published.  In this part 1 of a series, we will to set out the proposed new institutional structures for regulating the ICT industries.  Subsequent parts in the series will deal with specific issues, such as spectrum, universal access, the deployment of infrastructure, and Internet governance.

It is worth noting that all of the existing regulatory structures, including ICASA, USAASA and the .za DNA will be replac...

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Licensee Compliance - Warnings from ICASA

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, September 14, 2016
On 12 Sept 2016, ICASA has published a "courtesy notice", reminding licensees of certain obligations regarding the submission of fees and reports to ICASA.  In the notice, ICASA also warned licensees that if they failed to meet their obligations, "any application; request and or notification made by the Licensee to the Authority may not be considered". Other enforcement action could include referral to the Compliance and Compliants Committee or invocation of section 17H of the ICASA Act

The no...
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A flurry of activity at ICASA

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, March 30, 2016
ICASA has released a slew of government notices from March-April 2016, which include the following.
  • South African Music Regulations, 23 March 2016
  • South African Local Content Reasons  Document - March 2016
  • Local Television Content Regulations, 23 March 2016
  • Increased fees associated with spectrum licences effective 1 April 2016
  • Amendment to the Guidelines Relating to Type Approval Framework to extend the time for ICASA to process type approval applications from 15 to 30 working days
  • Increased admin...

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Vodacom / Neotel transaction

Posted by LA Thornton on Tuesday, March 1, 2016
In the Gauteng Division of the High Court, judgement was handed down in all of the cases challenging ICASA’s decision in the proposed Vodacom/Neotel transaction finding the following.

*  ICASA’s ex parte meeting(s) with the parties were unlawful and therefore ICASA is “reasonably suspected of bias” in deciding the matter.

* ICASA was obligated to consider the issue of competition within the ICT sector when considering the matter.

* Applications for transfer of control of licences must me...
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Films and Publications Amendment Bill, 2015

Posted by LA Thornton on Thursday, October 29, 2015
The Department of Communications has issued a notice that it will introduce the Films and Publications Amendment Bill, 2015 in Parliament in November 2015.  Copies of the bill may be obtained after its introduction from khayalethu@doc.gov.za. 

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Discussion Document on spectrum bands V and E

Posted by LA Thornton on Thursday, September 10, 2015
ICASA published a Discussion Document for comment due 27 November 2015, in respect of licensing options for the V band (57-66 GHz band) and the E band (71-76 paired with 81-86 GHz bands). 

ICASA proposes licence exempt status for the V band and a light licensing approach for the E band.

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