Questions from ICASA listed below. Please let us have your thoughts so we can prepare the response.
Deadline for responses: 12h00 on 24 October 2011.
Please note (use the number) the question to which you're responding in your response.
- Noting that MyBroadband users support Naked DSL, what do they think of Telkom’s view that this is not technically feasible?
- Do MyBroadband users view ICASA’s approach to LLU using Chapter 8 of the ECA and the Facilities Leasing Regulations as the right way to go about unbundling the loop?
- Do you think LLU will help increase the broadband penetration in SA?
- Are you aware that NDSL may cost more? It could be argued that if you wanted NDSL, take your voice price, plus your ADSL price, and there you go, that’s the price of Naked DSL. Have the MyBroadband users considered this? That NDSL might actually cost more.
- MyBroadband end-users are very interested in Full LLU, but they’re consumers, not network builders. [ICASA] didn’t know that consumers cared about how they got their services, just that they cared about the quality of the service and that they enjoyed their service. So from an end-user’s perspective, is there a difference between bitstream and full loop unbundling? Because they’re different, from a network topology and access point of view, but not necessarily different from an end-user’s perspective if the end-user gets an SLA that they’re happy with. So how did your end-users justify bitstream to full loop unbundling?
- Why would the end user worry about predatory pricing? It’s when the monopoly charges a price below cost. How does this negatively impact the end-user?
- Did the forum members have any opinion regarding whether LLU should include the wireless local loop as well?
- The open access approach in chapter 8 that [ICASA] is talking about may also include new investment fibre networks. What would the MyBroadband forum users’ views be on the open-access regime to new investment?
As requested, below is a short write-up on Chapter 8 and the Facilities Leasing Regulations.
Note that this is just a quick, layperson-friendly overview and does not set out all of the details relating to facilities leasing. This is just intended to educate you on the basics of what the relevant sections and regulations on facilities leasing cover in order to enable you to understand the questions posed by ICASA. The full Electronic Communications Act (ECA) and Facilities Leasing Regulations are available online or on request.
Chapter 8 of the ECA sets out that all ECNS (electronic communications network services) licensees are obliged to enter into a facilities leasing agreement with any other ECNS licensee (or licence-exempt entity) who requests them to do so, as long as that request is regarded as ‘reasonable’.
This chapter also requires (s43(8)) ICASA to prescribe a list of essential facilities‘Electronic communications facility’ is defined in the ECA as including but not limited to any –including but not limited to:
(a) electronic communications facilities, including without limitation local loops, sub-loops and associated electronic communications facilities for accessing subscribers and provisioning services;
(b) electronic communications facilities connected to international electronic communications facilities such as submarine cables and satellite earth stations; and
(c) any other such facilities,
required to be leased by an electronic communications network service licensee in terms of subsection (1) [ss1: obligation to lease facilities].
Chapter 8 also requires ICASA to prescribe regulations to facilitate the conclusion of facilities leasing agreements (s44(1)), which ICASA has done with the Facilities Leasing Regulations. These Regulations add some substance to the basic obligations in the ECA. It sets out when requests will be technically and financially feasible, and thus will be considered reasonable. It sets out timeframes, required information from facilities providers and facilities seekers, what must be included in a facilities leasing agreement, and the procedure when disputes arise. The Regulations require facilities leasing agreements to be filed with ICASA for review, to confirm that they comply with the ECA and the Facilities Leasing Regulations.(a) wire;
(b) cable (including undersea and land-based fibre optic cables);
(e) satellite transponder;
(g) cable landing station;
(h) international gateway;
(i) earth station; and
(j) radio apparatus or other thing,
which can be used for, or in connection with, electronic communications, including where applicable—
(i) collocation space;
(ii) monitoring equipment;
(iii) space on or within poles, ducts, cable trays, manholes, hand holds and conduits; and
(iv) associated support systems, sub-systems and services, ancillary to such electronic communications facilities or otherwise necessary for controlling connectivity of the various electronic communications facilities for proper functionality, control, integration and utilisation of such electronic communications facilities;