The Council of ICASA refuses to grant requests for extension with regards to the implementation of the recent amendments to the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations
The Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has noted Cell C's urgent application filed at the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday 6 June 2018 to seek a postponement of the implementation of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations published on 07 May 2018. The regulations are due to come into effect on 8 June 2018.
The review application comes against the backdrop of Cell C (and the other industry players) requesting an extension of the date of implementation of the Regulations. Cell C had requested six months extension to comply with the Regulations.
It is important to note that the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations of 2016 was necessitated by the general concerns about, amongst others, the unfair business rules imposed by licensees in the provision of data services to consumers. In particular, the Regulations seek to grant consumers relief against expiry of data, bill shock occasioned by lack of transparency on out-of-bundle charges and other rules which are prejudicial to consumers.
The effect of the extension would be that consumers will continue to be prejudiced by the continued application of the impugned business rules. This would mean consumers will for the foreseeable period of the extension not be able to carry over their unused data and will continue to be charged high out-of-bundle rates without their consent.
ICASA is required, in terms of its legislative mandate, to act and regulate in the public interest (particularly consumers). It is ICASA's view that granting such an extension would not be in the public interest. Hence, the decision to refuse the extension.
ICASA has decided that it will defend the application by Cell C and to this end, has resolved to postpone the effective date until the matter has been heard and pronounced upon by the Court. During this intervening period licensees will not be penalised for non-compliance.
Issued by: Independent Communications Authority of South Africa