ICASA breaks silence on iBurst equipment seizure

The Independent Communications of South Africa Authority (ICASA) confirmed that it has “sealed and seized WBS [and hence iBurst] radio communication equipment at six Gauteng sites”.

iBurst’s network went down on Wednesday morning after ICASA confiscated some of the company’s core network equipment hosted in the MTN Gallo Manor data centre and other sites in Gauteng.

This action by ICASA lead to a widespread outage on the iBurst network, but the company started to bypass the affected areas to bring clients back online.

To date ICASA was mum on the issue, but has now issued a press statement to clarify its position.

ICASA confirmed that has sealed and seized WBS radio communication equipment at six Gauteng sites. It is also not happy that WBS/iBurst is allegedly fixing the network.

“The Authority’s inspectors are conducting tests to verify allegations that WBS has or is reconnecting the affected radio-communication equipment,” ICASA said.

ICASA explained that it adopted a hard-line approach to non-compliance with regard to the collection of outstanding radio frequency licence fees in October 2012.

“As a result, ICASA inspectors commenced with investigations that led to the crackdown on WBS earlier this week,” it said.

“The Authority’s action against WBS forms part of a national drive to recover all outstanding licence fees from electronic communications, broadcasting and postal licensees.”

“To this end, the Authority has been engaging several affected licensees to make payment arrangements for all outstanding radio spectrum licence fees.”

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ICASA breaks silence on iBurst equipment seizure