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JOHANNESBURG: SOUTH Africa’s internet service providers have appealed to the government to open up communications licensing, lamenting the current situation is impeding on growth.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) believes facilitating greater market entry would boost competition and transformation.

“The current situation creates artificial barriers to entry to an ICT market that is absolutely crucial for South Africa’s future growth and aspirations of being part of an inclusive fourth industrial revolution (4IR),” says Dominic Cull, ISPA’s regulatory advisor.

Cull added, “ISPA believes that it would be easy to remove this obstacle to growing and transforming the industry and calls on the Minister and ICASA to take the necessary steps.”

ISPA last October wrote to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, and the Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) on the issue.

Specifically, ISPA has requested that ‘the Minister give due consideration to issuing a policy direction as contemplated under section 3(2) read with section 5(6) of the ECA directing ICASA to issue an  Invitation to Apply (ITA) for individual electronic communications network service (IECNS) licences.

ISPA has also written separately to ICASA calling on it to “issue a standing ITA for the issuing of an individual electronic communications service (IECS) licence to qualifying applicants under the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005 (ECA)”.

There has been no response to either communiqué, ISPA disclosed.

According to the association, no new IECS or IECNS licences had been issued since 2010. – CAJ News