LLU battle: Neotel prevails in first round

The Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has found in Neotel’s favour after Telkom denied a request to access its local loop and telephone exchanges.

Neotel made the request based on the existing facilities leasing regulations issued by ICASA.

Telkom argued that local loop unbundling (LLU) regulations, which don’t exist yet, should govern its copper infrastructure and not the facilities leasing regulations.

The CCC felt differently however, saying that Neotel’s request to Telkom was valid and finding Telkom in contravention of the regulations by not adequately responding to Neotel’s request.

ICASA said that the CCC also found that for a practical and reasonable solution the regulator must make sure that it finalises the LLU regulations since the Authority had until November 2011 to conclude the process, in terms of the Ministerial Policy Direction of 2007.

Although ICASA was tasked to meet this deadline by former Minister of Communications Roy Padayachie, the regulatory body missed it.

Instead, it issued a new list of deadlines on 30 November 2011, which among other things promised to implement a form of LLU called bitstream access by 1 November 2012.

The CCC noted the regulator’s silence on the progress of resolving this matter, as it was initially referred to by Neotel in 2011. The CCC further noted ICASA’s silence on the progress of the LLU process.

According to ICASA, the committee found that it is proper that the Authority impose “the terms and conditions that are consistent with the law.”

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LLU battle: Neotel prevails in first round