South Africa wants faster broadband licences
January 30, 2023
By Chris Forrester
There are complaints about South Africa’s ICASA regarding the length of time the media regulator is taking to issue network and service licences for broadband operators.
South Africa’s Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) says that ICASA is undermining the sectors growth and development.
ISPA, which has about 220 members (mainly ISPs), said that it wants ICASA’s applications for new licences to be granted and thus help South Africa’s economy and to black economic empowerment.
ISPA says it has made several requests over the past two-and-a-half years for licensing to resume. According to ISPA’s regulatory advisor, Dominic Cull, the association wrote to both the minister of communications and ICASA in October 2020 to request that licence applications be recognised and the licences issued. No substantive response was received, he said.
According to Cull, small businesses wanting to grow their footprint have no option currently but to purchase a licence on a willing seller/willing buyer basis from existing licensees and apply to ICASA for a transfer.
“This costs a significant amount of money – generally more than R1-million — and the ICASA application process will take a minimum of five to eight months to be completed,” Cull said.