iBurst wins court interdict against ICASA

Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), the owner of iBurst, has won a high court interdict against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) forcing the regulator to return its confiscated equipment. The interdict also prohibits the regulator from interfering with the provisioning of WBS’s services.

WBS and ICASA are currently engaged in a dispute over the amount due by WBS to ICASA for WBS’s radio frequency spectrum licences that WBS has held for between 4 and 7 years.

According to WBS it has been engaging with ICASA to determine what amount is owing.

WBS said in a press statement that on 3 April 2013, without notice, inspectors from ICASA entered the premises of WBS/iBurst and seized their radio transmission equipment.

“In fact, these negotiations were ongoing while the seizure of equipment took place,” said WBS.

ICASA’s actions resulted in interruption of iBurst and Broadlink services to numerous residential clients and businesses.

“In view of what WBS regards as unlawful deprivation of its property and interference with the provision of services to its client, WBS launched an urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday,” WBS explained.

In the application, WBS sought the return of its equipment and an interdict preventing ICASA from interfering with the provision of its services, pending an application by WBS to declare that it is in possession of lawful licences.

The case was heard on Friday afternoon (5 April 2013), and the interim order that WBS sought was granted.

ICASA responds

ICASA said in a press statement that it acknowledged the Interim Court Order of the South Gauteng High Court to hand back radio communications equipment that the regulator sealed and seized earlier this week.

“The Interim Court Order is valid until 25 May 2013 and does not exempt WBS from their obligations, as the operator is still required to settle all outstanding radio frequency licence fees,” ICASA said.

“We remain steadfast in our resolve to recover all outstanding radio frequency licence fees from all affected operators.”

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iBurst wins court interdict against ICASA