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Electronic Communications Amendment Bill Tabled

September 21, 2018

Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

The Electronic Communications Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament.

Comment was invited on the draft bill at the end of last year.

The proposed legislation flows from the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper.

The bill seeks to:

• amend the Electronic Communications Act, 2005, so as to provide for transformation of the sector through enforcement of broad-based black economic empowerment;
• provide for lowering of cost of communications, reducing infrastructure duplications and encouraging service-based competition through a wireless open access network service;
• provide a new framework for rapid deployment of electronic communications facilities;
• provide for new approaches on scarce resources such as spectrum, including the assignment of high-demand spectrum on open access principles;
• create a new framework for open access;
• provide for the regulation of international roaming, including SADC roaming to ensure regulated roaming costs, quality of service and transparency;
• provide for regular market definition and review to ensure effective competition;
• provide for improved quality of services, including for persons with disabilities;
• provide for consumer protection of different types of end-users and subscribers, including persons and institutions;
• provide for enhanced co-operation between the National Consumer Commission and the Authority, as well as the Competition Commission and the Authority; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services will now process the bill.