South Africa’s Communications Minister has been refused permission to appeal an earlier high court decision which granted value added network services (VANS) licence holders the right to deploy their own fixed line networks. Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri had hoped to block firms such as Altech from building their own facilities rather than leasing capacity from the handful of telcos which do hold network concessions. ‘We are absolutely ecstatic,’ John Holdsworth, CEO of Electronic Communications Networks (ECN), told local newspaper Business Day. ‘It’s a major court victory and a watershed moment for the telecoms industry. We are going to see massive, massive changes,’ he added.