A ruling in Altech Autopage’s legal battle to self-provide is expected as soon as next week.
Altech Autopage feels that the Minister’s September 2004 determinations mean that they could self provide from February 1 2005 and should therefore automatically qualify for an Inividual ECNS license.
Fin24’s Belinda Anderson however reported that the Department of Communications and ICASA fought back, arguing that the value-added network service licencees (vans) were never given the right to provide their own networks.
“Matsepe-Casaburri’s legal team conceded that the wording of the September 2004 ministerial directive – which created all the confusion in the first place – was ‘unfortunate’,” Anderson reported (full article here)
If the court rules in favour of Altech Autopage it may mean that all VANS will be in line for Individual ECNS licenses, effectively giving them the same rights as Telkom, Neotel and the cellular operators. This in turn will mean an immediate liberalization of the local telecoms industry.