In the news

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:46

A couple of stories have made the headlines recently. We would love to share them with you. Click here to read more about the ‘Groundbreaking Telkom-Vodacom judgement’ and ‘Removal of ICASA chairperson Rubben Mahlaloga after conviction on fraud charges’

Telkom judgement is groundbreaking – Vodacom

Vodacom has described the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that Vodacom is allowed to use certain Telkom ducts and sleeves to roll out its fibre network as groundbreaking.

The court made the ruling after Telkom and Vodacom fought over the use of Telkom’s ducts in Dennegeur, a residential estate in Somerset West.

“The SCA’s Dennegeur judgment is a groundbreaking and precedent-setting ruling,” Vodacom told MyBroadband.

“In future, no operator in South Africa will be restricted from deploying network equipment on infrastructure owned by a Home Owners’ Association, as was the case in Dennegeur.”

When the Dennegeur estate was established in 2000, Telkom rolled out telephone and ADSL lines in it. This included building underground ducts and sleeves for the cabling.

During 2016, Vodacom was contracted by the Dennegeur homeowners association to install fibre for residents.

Vodacom reportedly asked Telkom for permission to install fibre in its ducts in the estate, but Telkom said it was not obligated to share its infrastructure.

Despite this, Vodacom installed its fibre network using the ducts and sleeves Telkom had built in the estate – and which contained Telkom’s copper cables.

This led to a Western Cape High Court battle over the right to use the ducts and sleeves, which Telkom won.

The Dennegeur homeowners association and Vodacom subsequently appealed the High Court’s decision at the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the court ruled in its favour.

Telkom told MyBroadband that it has taken note of the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling.

“We confirm that the process for gaining access to the passive infrastructure of electronic communications network licensees is regulated in terms of the Electronic Communications Act and relevant regulations, which ensures order and legal certainty in respect of this process,” said Telkom.

“Telkom differs with various aspects of the judgment and is of the preliminary view that the judgment negatively impacts the rights of licensees and property owners, as well as the rollout of electronic communications networks. We are studying the judgment with a view to further steps.”

Article credit: My Broadband, 2 April 2019

ICASA appoints Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng as acting board chairperson

The council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has appointed Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng as acting chairperson following the removal of convicted fraudster Rubben Mahlaloga.

ICASA said Modimoeng's appointment followed a special council meeting held Monday as mandated by the provisions of section 5 of the ICASA Act of 2000, which provides for the appointment of a chairperson amongst councillors in the absence of the chairperson.

Mohlaloga was removed as ICASA chairman following his 20-year jail sentence for defrauding the Land Bank of R6 million. The move followed a resolution by the National Assembly to fire Mohlaloga, who was convicted of fraud and money laundering in January, disqualifying him from holding office.  

Mohlaloga's lawyers have launched an appeal against his sentence in the case which dates back to 2012, when he was an African National Congress legislator and chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on agriculture.

Modimoeng holds MBA and PhD (Management Sciences) degrees. He is also a Harvard University senior executive fellow and has completed an Executive Development Programme from Wharton University and Africa Director Programme at Stellenbosch University. 

He said ICASA would continue to "put South Africans first".

"We are governed by legislation and guided by the public interest mandate and for that we will continue to put the South African public first when taking decisions. We will continue to work closely with all key stakeholders including government, to ensure that the authority's regulatory decisions advance transformation in the ICT sector, support economic growth and unlock opportunities presented by the 4th industrial revolution and the digital economy.''

Article credit: African News Agency (ANA)