Where is the CSIR spectrum report?

The DA has demanded that telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele release the full spectrum report compiled by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The report concerns the spectrum needs of the proposed wholesale open-access network (WOAN) and must be released before the new process to auction high-demand spectrum is started, the DA said.

“At a meeting of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Postal Services and Telecommunications on 4 September, I asked Minister Cwele when he would release the CSIR report,” said DA MP Marian Shinn.

“He declined to answer.”

ICASA and Cwele recently announced that the court battle between them regarding an invitation to apply for spectrum issued in 2016 had been settled, allowing a new spectrum allocation process to move forward.

The DA said it welcomes an end to this impasse, but called for the release of the CSIR report and for clarity on key issues – such as the spectrum required by the WOAN.

“There is no indication yet of who the stakeholders in the WOAN might be and, should such a consortium be established, it is likely to be about 10 years before it can become operational,” the party said.

“Until then a sizeable portion of high-demand spectrum, critically needed for mobile-data starved South Africans, would lie idle.”

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Where is the CSIR spectrum report?