ISPA UPBEAT ABOUT TRANSPARENT SOUTH AFRICAN REGULATOR ON ADSL REGULATIONS

Internet

The public call by The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) for input regarding the ADSL regulations published in the Government Gazette in August 2006 was answered by the Internet Service Providers' Association of SA (ISPA) on behalf of its 126 members, many of which provide ADSL services to SA Internet consumers.

ADSL regulations issued last year by Icasa have been criticised for being unclear and for not dealing with key concerns including the wholesale pricing of ADSL. ISPA is heartened by recent comments by Icasa’s chairman that the ADSL regulations were under review.

“Icasa’s willingness to engage stakeholders both prior and subsequent to the publishing of the ADSL regulations speaks volumes of the regulator’s intent to eventually arrive at a clear and equitable set of regulations. Clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement in the current regulations.

"We hope Icasa will move quickly to clarify them and produce revised regulations that can be used to grow the broadband market for the benefit of all South Africans," says Richard Heath, chairman of ISPA’s Regulatory Submissions Working Group.

ISPA acknowledges that regulating the broadband market can be as challenging as providing a quality broadband product when one is forced to source the raw material from a single supplier.

In order to assist Icasa in pursuing its challenging mandate, ISPA's recently-submitted letter to the regulator outlines both technical and substantive issues relating to the ADSL regulations. ISPA points out that many of the issues mentioned in the ADSL regulations are beyond the control of ISPs. It is impossible for reseller ISPs to fully comply with the regulations when their supplier is not committed to compliance.

"ISPA remains of the view that the regulations have the potential to address fundamental shortcomings relating to the provision of ADSL in SA and wishes to emphasise its desire to work with Icasa in ensuring that the regulations play their intended role," concludes Heath.

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