ISPA expects competition ruling soon in South Africa


The Competition Commission is about to finalise its investigation into the Internet Service Providers Association's (ISPA's) complaint that Telkom is engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. ISPA expects a ruling in June.

ISPA lodged the complaint against Telkom in 2005, stating that Telkom's wholesale and retail pricing structure was squeezing the margins of Internet service providers (ISPs).

The association also asked the commission to evaluate the way the South African Internet market is structured, and make sure that ISPs are able to compete fairly to provide reasonably priced services to their customers.

The Competition Commission requested four extensions during its investigation, as Telkom did not provide the authority with the information it required, says ISPA GM Ant Brooks.

However, things are now speeding up and ISPA expects a ruling soon. "I would be surprised if the Competition Commission doesn't wrap it up mid-June," he says.

Brooks notes that the relationship between ISPA and Telkom Wholesale has improved since the association lodged its application with the Competition Commission. ISPA gets honest answers from the division on its operational queries, he says.

“We also want to think that ISPA gives Telkom Wholesale good feedback on what ISPs want,” he says.