Today's Big Stories

Telecomms Minister's legal challenge to Icasa over broadband sale

Minister of Telecommunications, Siyabonga Cwele, has filed a lawsuit against Icasa over a dispute on the sale of broadband.

The Business Day's Carol Paton explains that the lawsuit could be the start of a long legal battle between government and the communications regulator.

Cwele wants to prevent Icasa from bidding off broadband spectrum licenses to top South African companies, after claims that Icasa did not consult with the ministry before inviting applications to the auction.

Cwele plans to make the broadband sector more inclusive, while Icasa has created a barrier to entry by setting the minimum bidding price at R3 billion.

He's saying let's allow new entrants to come in to this monopolised market where big players MTN and Vodacom dominate.

Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day

It is suspected that Icasa is acting under the influence of the big market players by contradicting Cwele's draft policy on integrated ICT, Paton explains.

This particular area of government has a very bad history of lots of political interference and strange occurrences.

Carol Paton, Deputy Editor at the Business Day

Paton says explains that the expanded spectrum will give South Africans faster internet services and allow companies to access broadband more competitively.

Listen to the full conversation:

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