Thursday, January 8, 2009

South Africa: Internet Providers Lose Out on Licences -

Lesley StonesJohannesburg

TECHNOLOGY companies hoping to win a license to construct their ain voice and information webs have got been snubbed by the regulating authorization and will still be forced to rent their bandwidth from the incumbent telecoms operators.

Internet service suppliers had hoped that an burdensome procedure of updating every telecoms license to follow with the new Electronic Communications Act was a opportunity to stop their dependance on the bigger participants such as as Telkom and Neotel.

But the Mugwump Communications Authority of Sturmarbeiteilung (Icasa) is issuing only a smattering of the highly prized licenses that allow operators construct their ain networks. Those licenses will travel to the companies already able to make so, including Telkom, Sentech, Neotel, iBurst and the cellular operators.

Every other participant is being offered a far less flexible license that allows them supply only electronic communication theory services over a web leased from the bigger players.

MWeb, Internet Solutions and Altech Autopage are all craving the freedom to build their ain national webs to command their costs and quality of service. All three have got run trials using airplane pilot networks, which would make competition in the marketplace far more than effectively than keeping web substructure in the custody of a few dominant players.

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Internet Solutions chief executive officer Angus Og MacRobert said it was dissatisfactory that so far every company retention an old license as a Value Added Network Services (Vans) supplier was getting a license that prevented them edifice their ain infrastructure. "We are looking for a full licence," he said.

Altech Autopage had already predicted it would be denied a full-scale license and have launched a legal challenge to hold the full process. Altech chief executive officer Craig Venter said lucidity was needed on whether old Vans licenses allowed companies to construct their ain network, in which lawsuit they were entitled to new licenses bestowing the same conditions.

Icasa spokesman Sekgoela Sekgoela said the tribunal hearing set down for July 29 was not interrupting the license transition process.

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