ICASA proposes licence fee hike

27 Nov 2008

There was outrage from Value Added Network Services (VANS) operators as the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) released new draft regulations proposing that the annual variable licence fee be increased thirty fold to 3% of gross revenue. VANS operators currently pay around 0.1% of turnover derived from the licensed telecoms service as annual variable licence fees and 0.2% as a contribution to the Universal Service and Access Fund.

VANS operators won the right to individual electronic communications network service (I-ECNS) licences in August, enabling them to develop and operate their own networks, but now face another hurdle in their efforts to compete equitably within the South African telecoms industry. VANS operators have until 5 December 2008 to submit comment on the draft regulations, as ICASA wants to finalise the fees before the 19 January 2009 deadline for conversion of all Telecommunications Act licences, including the VANS licences.

South Africa