by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – THE Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) believes the directive by regulators on services providers to reduce the cost of data will be positive for competition and consumers in South Africa.
It welcomed the recent order, made through the publication of the Competition Commission’s Summary of Findings and Recommendations in the Data Services Market Inquiry.
ISPA emphasised the call by the commission for the assignment of high-demand spectrum to the market to take place as soon as possible to enable growth and for the communications regulator to be adequately resourced to deal with this process and other aspects of promoting competition and reducing the cost to communicate.
“The Commission has also, we believe, correctly pointed out the need for greater focus on the roll-out of fixed networks and the fact that obstructive and rent-seeking behaviour from municipalities is delaying this roll-out as well as ultimately increasing costs to end-users,” ISPA stated.
“The intervention in Telkomâ€™s wholesale IPC pricing will enable greater value to consumers through their ISPs and incentives or subsidies for the deployment of fixed networks in underserved areas and ideas for more efficient use of spectrum make a great deal of sense.”
ISPA said it noted the publication by Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) of its Discussion Document regarding competition in the provision of mobile broadband services and its Information
Memorandum relating to the assignment of high-demand spectrum, both of which documents are also relevant to the cost of mobile data services.
“Given the overlap in focus we call on the two regulators to make sure that their processes are aligned and coordinated as required by the Memorandum of Understanding entered into between them,” ISPA recommended in conclusion.
– CAJ News