Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

ICASA welcomes court judgement and order on the e.tv digital migration case, pleads with Telkom

INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA

 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA/the Authority) welcomes the judgment and order issued on Monday, 28 March 2022, by the full bench of the Pretoria High Court in respect of the digital migration case between e.tv and the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies. 

The Authority notes that the High Court has dismissed the applications by e.tv and other related parties to restrain the Minister from determining the Analogue Switch-off date until every indigent person, whether registered for set top boxes (STBs) or not, is provided with such STBs. 

To ensure a seamless and orderly transition the High Court exercised the residual powers conferred to it by section 172(1)(b) of the Constitution by deferring the analogue switch-off date from 31 March 2022 to 30 June 2022. In this regard, the judgement aligns with the expiry of the provisional spectrum licence period, as communicated by the Authority in its media statement of Monday, 28 March 2022, aimed at ensuring the seamless transition of services by 1 July 2022. 

“This judgement brings certainty and conclusiveness with regards to digital migration in South Africa. This coincides with the successful conclusion of the radio frequency spectrum auction, as well as government’s intention to revise the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) policy regime,” says ICASA Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng. 

Furthermore, the Chairperson appeals again to Telkom to reconsider its position on its own litigation in relation to the auction of high-demand spectrum. 

“As a result of these developments, we appeal to Telkom to consider withdrawing its litigation, and to allow the upcoming consultation avenues on these regulatory interventions to conclude. It is therefore a humble plea, and we believe that Telkom will join all of us in embracing the new winds of digital evolution in our country,” adds Dr Modimoeng. 

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