Deal with unlicensed broadband providers, ICASA told

The Wireless Access Providers' Association (WAPA) calls on ICASA to deal with unlicensed telecoms providers

August 24, 2010
Deal with unlicensed broadband providers, ICASA told

The Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) is calling upon the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to take urgent steps to address the high numbers of unlicensed providers of Internet and other electronic communications services in South Africa. WAPA estimates that there are more than 500 such operators in South Africa.

“It is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive process for a provider to obtain the necessary licensing which will permit it to provide services lawfully in South Africa” says Sumaiyah Makda of Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions, regulatory advisors to WAPA.

Attempts to work with regional offices of ICASA have met with mixed results. “In some cases the response has been that the unlicensed provider will be given 12 months within which to apply for licences and in most others no action has been taken at all”, says Makda.

“This seems to ignore the fact that providing electronic communications services or network services without valid licences issued by ICASA is a criminal offence under the Electronic Communications Act of 2005. ICASA is also entitled to confiscate or seal equipment which is being used for illegal service provision.”

WAPA currently has 94 members, all of whom are licensed providers of wireless access services to consumers in South Africa. Members are bound by a Code of Conduct which governs their interaction with their subscribers and other providers as well as requiring them to be compliant with ICASA regulation.

“WAPA wishes to urge ICASA to beef up its efforts to curtail illegal service provision and points out that unlicensed providers are competing unfairly in that they are not paying annual licence fees or contributions to the Universal Service and Access Fund as required by ICASA. Nor are such providers observing the consumer protection regulations which ICASA has put in place,” WAPA said in a press statement.

WAPA said that it offers assistance to unlicensed providers who wish to legitimise their operations, and advised such companies to visit http://www.wapa.org.za/members/join-wapa/ and http://www.ellipsis.co.za/wapa-regulatory-guide-to-starting-a-wisp/

Unlicensed wireless providers << comments and views

 

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Do you use WhatsApp?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Great tech and gadget specials

Sale

This weekend consumers can save money on a wide range of technology products from Makro, HiFi Corp, Incredible Connection, and other retailers

MTN WoW tiers enhanced

MTN logo

MTN South Africa has introduced two new WoW tiers for its prepaid customers

South African Internet users: age, gender, and race

South Africa keyboard

The latest Effective Measure statistics reveal what South Africa’s Internet population looks like

Russia to unplug the Internet: report

Vladimir Putin and Jacob Zuma shake handske

Russia is considering measures to protect its cyberspace from the “unpredictable” West

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)