by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has decried the delayed implementation of End-User and Subscriber Service Charter (EUSSC) regulations anticipated protect consumers from alleged predatory practices by mobile networks and other service providers.
ISPA pointed out it was now more than 100 days since these regulations were meant to come into force yet the conclusion of current legal actions initiated by operators Cell C, MTN and Telkom was not in sight.
Court battles centre around the time period afforded to service providers to prepare for the new regulations.
The high court has ruled that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) had not provided sufficient time and should have been aware of the impact on service providers of the regulations.
ISPA referred to an affidavit filed by Cell C on the issue.
It reads, “It is inconceivable that integrated and fully operational compliance with the amended regulations could ever be possible within a one-month period, and it is also inconceivable that an industry sector regulatory authority such as ICASA, with its specialist knowledge of the industry, would not know this, or would not have carried out even the most basic regulatory assessment.”
ISPA stated this was however not the only issue with the new regulations.
“A primary stated aim is to boost transparency and lower costs in a key industry but what we have now is more confusion and extremely vague areas, even with explanatory notes,” ISPA stated.
According to ISPA, the most glaring issues with the EUSSC are around rollover and transfer of data and regulated service level agreements.
ISPA is confident measures are required to curb out-of-bundle pricing and other alleged predatory practices which are believed to have flourished for without the regulator intervening.
“The amended EUSSC regulations – when they come into force – will offer consumers some relief, but ICASA’s lack of understanding of the industry it regulates means this relief is both limited and delayed,” ISPA stated.
– CAJ News