Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) is adamant the regulator needs to provide clarity on the scope of value-added network services (VANS) and make changes to the black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholding requirements, before any licensing issues can be properly resolved. This was the thrust of ISPA's presentation during the first day of the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (ICASA's) public hearings into the proposed VANS regulatory framework. According to Ant Brooks, chairman of ISPA's regulatory committee, the lack of clarity on what exactly constitutes a VANS provider means no one seems to know who the proposed regulations apply to."Many questions remain unanswered, such as does a virtual ISP require a licence? Does a Web site operator need one if it has an authenticated login section? Or even would a school require one if it provides e-mail access to students?"We would also like to know what the justification is for a five-fold increase in the cost of a licence, since ICASA has always claimed the fee is based on the cost to the regulator for processing a licence application," he says.