Legal View

ICASA, telcos settle new data rules matter

ICASA says it is pleased there is now certainty on the effective date of the regulations.
ICASA says it is pleased there is now certainty on the effective date of the regulations.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has reached a settlement with Cell C and MTN concerning the implementation of the new data expiry rules.

The matter was brought before the South Gauteng High Court by Cell C, which said the one-month implementation deadline was too short and would be impossible to meet, and it would need another six months to be able to implement the rules.

MTN, Vodacom and Telkom had also attempted to get more time to implement the new regulations ahead of the deadline, and MTN joined Cell C's application as a respondent.

At the time, ICASA said it had decided to defend the matter on the basis that it is required, in terms of its legislative mandate, to act and regulate in the public interest, particularly consumers.

In a statement, the authority says the terms of the settlement include the fact that the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations be implemented from 28 February 2019. Therefore, it would serve no purpose and amount to wasteful expenditure to proceed with the litigation.

"ICASA is pleased there is now certainty on the effective date of the regulations. This is important as the regulations provide much needed relief to consumers by prescribing minimum standards of service in terms of which licensees are compelled to allow data roll-over, data transfer and most importantly to cease the automatic charging of out of bundle rates," says ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe.

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