Urgent intervention to bring down the price of mobile data is a priority for South African consumers and the government, but not for the country’s telecommunications regulator, said ISPA.
It said ICASA is dithering by announcing a process to determine which areas to focus on when exercising its powers.
ICASA said it intends to complete an investigation into data prices by April 2018 and will look at interventions following this.
“The priority market for intervention is obvious and there is no need to waste more time,” said Dominic Cull, ISPA’s regulatory advisor.
ISPA said the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services has made government’s position clear. In March 2016, he directed ICASA to “prioritise the commencement and conclusion of an inquiry and the prescription of regulations to ensure effective competition in broadband markets”.
16 months later, little has been done, said ISPA.
“Consumers are having to balance their growing need for megs and gigs with their very limited rands and cents: ICASA needs to address this with the urgency it deserves,” said Cull.