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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Feb 2010

INFOTECH: Interconnection Proposal "Legally Indefensible"

 





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The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications believes that Clause 5 of the proposed interconnection agreement tabled by mobile operators (Vodacom and MTN) with Icasa is wrong in law. At best it represents an attempt by operators to pre-determine interconnection rates for a prolonged period, which is both unreasonable and legally indefensible.

The practical effect of the proposed agreement will be to tie the hands of Icasa and to prevent it from discharging its lawful responsibilities.

The Committee still believes that its original proposal of an immediate reduction in the interconnection rates to 60c is desirable. However, it accepts the suggested cut to 89c as an interim measure that can be implemented by 01 March 2010 – of course, after endorsement by Icasa. There should be no conditions attached to this interim measure.

While the Committee supports in principle the concept of a glide path, the precise rates and timeframes should rightfully be determined by Icasa.

The Committee urges Icasa to undertake its investigation into interconnection rates professionally and to meticulously follow the procedures set out in Chapter 10 of the Electronic Communications Act, so that its final determination on this matter can be defended legally, if need be.

The Committee will be inviting Icasa immediately after the President’s State of the Nation Address to receive a progress report on its work in respect of interconnection rates.


 
 
 
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