Data wars: Icasa beefs up fight with regulations for data expiry - report


Johannesburg – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) intends on regulating data expiry, according to a notice published in the Government Gazette on Monday. 

The communications authority wants to amend the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations by introducing “out-of-bundle billing practices” and other “expiry of data practices”.

Wilmari Strachan, director of technology, media and telecommunications at firm ENS Africa, said that these regulations will “govern” the validity period and roll-over of data.

“For instance, data bundles of 1GB to 5GB must remain valid for 90 days. Bigger data bundles, such as 20GB and more, must remain valid for 24 months.”

The regulations also provide for end-users to have an option to roll over unused data before the expiry date. “If introduced, these regulations will certainly affect the business models of many electronic communications service providers,” she said.

The public has until September 19 to submit comment.

Previously the regulator announced it would hold an inquiry to try reduce high data costs. The inquiry which will be conducted over four phases will be completed in March 2018. These phases include a market study, discussion document, public hearings, and findings document, and members of the public would have 45 days to submist comments following each phase, News24 reported.

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