Cape Town Internet service provider (ISP) DOTCO has been awarded a temporary interdict against Telkom implementing its new ADSL per usage billing structure until 5 December.
The temporary interdict was made today by Cape High Judge President John Hlope after discussions between the advocates of DOTCO and Telkom.
In terms of the award, a final decision will be made by the High Court in December.
The temporary order was a positive development, but DOTCO customers would have to wait until early December to see whether DOTCO would be able to continue providing users an affordable means of accessing the Internet, says Johan Ferreira, MD of DOTCO.
The order in favour of DOTCO did not reduce the urgent need for the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to rule on the proposed billing changes because the wholesale ADSL price adjustments were intended for all ISPs and not only DOTCO, says DOTCO`s attorney, Brendan Hughes of Michalsons Attorneys.
DOTCO, along with another Cape Town ISP, Web Africa, complained to ICASA that the proposed billing changes discriminate against all non-Telkom authenticated ISPs.
Telkom`s intended price increases for ADSL usage also include a hard cap on usage for customers of independent ISPs whereas Telkom Internet`s own customers are allowed to continue using the Internet on a restricted basis at no further charge once the theoretical usage caps have been reached, says DOTCO`s Ferreira.
"This is unfair," says Ferreira, "and we are hoping that ICASA will recognise this unfairness and act in the best interests of all telecommunication users and their service providers."
ICASA is empowered by section 53 of the Telecommunications Act to declare a moratorium on any intended action by a telecommunications licence-holder that is likely to operate unfairly against any category of persons, Hughes confirmed.
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