The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) recently held their local loop unbundling (LLU) hearings in Sandton, from 11 – 13 October 2011.
While these events are public, typically only industry stakeholders attend and present at ICASA hearings. This time was different.
Consumers got a voice through a partnership between MyBroadband and Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions, and anyone with an Internet connection could view and partake in the proceedings thanks to Mindset Network and Let’s Talk Network (LTN).
Mindset Network and LTN streamed the three day event live free of charge, and also gave people the opportunity to ask questions to the presenting companies through a live chat channel.
The value of the live streaming facility was clearly visible in the number of questions which originated from this facility.
For the first time ever people from around South Africa were given the opportunity to participate in telecoms regulatory hearings and were not only educated, but also used their democratic right to comment on regulations that will affect them.
MyBroadband founder Rudolph Muller said that the live streaming of the LLU hearings shows the power of the Internet and how citizens can be empowered through being ‘connected’.
“Mindset Network and Let’s Talk Network (LTN) should be commended for using the Internet to educate South Africans and give consumers a platform through which they can participate in important regulatory events. Technology allows for the free flow of information and as we all know information is power. It is heartening to have organizations like Mindset Network and LTN empowering the South African public,” said Muller
“At Mindset Network, using our facilities and production arm Traffic, we were privileged to be able to show that broadcast media does not have to be limited to the traditional television set. Our expansion into Internet television services for educational purposes would hopefully help even more students with our Mindset Network content,” said Johan Els, IT/Technologies Manager for Mindset Network.
“We are very happy that we’ve been able make streaming of local events happen, allowing people from across the country to participate. LTN and Mindset Network are also looking forward streaming the MyBroadband conference. Hopefully we will be able to do more of this in future,” said LTN’s Tim Haak.