South Africa: Icasa may shut new free broadcaster


The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) warned on Friday that it could block Free2View's satellite signal, or take other action, if the UK-based free-to-air broadcaster continued operating without a licence. Free2View launched its satellite broadcasting services last week, which will provide consumers with access to a variety of channels; such as live news programmes and documentaries for free. Consumers will only make a once-off payment of R1,400 (US$194) for a decoder and a satellite dish. Icasa, which regulates the broadcasting and telecoms sectors, has not issued Free2View with a licence or permission to operate. Any entity that planned to provide a broadcasting service in South Africa requires a licence and any attempt to provide such service without one constituted a criminal offence, Icasa said. If Free2View continued operating, Icasa could approach the court for an interdict to stop its operations.