Telecoms Regulation

South Africa Collaborates With The US On Telco Regulations And Policy

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), an independent regulatory body of the South African government, established to regulate both the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in the public interest, has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for exchange of ideas in the field of telecommunications regulations and policy.

According to Keabetswe Modimoeng, the Chairman at ICASA, the virtually signed MOU engages the South African regulator to achieve international best practices and pioneering regulatory approaches.  Furthermore, it validates South Africa’s standing in the global ICT stage, Modimoeng added. A statement from FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel read FCC is thrilled to have formalised the partnership with our South African colleagues on telecoms, policy, competitive markets, technological innovation and closing the digital divide issues that affect both countries.

In emphasising her support for network neutrality, Rosenworcel said the two-tiered internet approach where privileged communities received high-speed internet traffic and underprivileged communities are at a disadvantage needs to end.  There needs to be rules and regulations that speak to the existing control on what we can and cannot do when we go online. Also, blocking and paid prioritisation schemes that undermine the internet cannot be regarded as acceptable, she added.

US President Joe Biden handpicked Rosenworcel as an interim Chair for the regulatory agency after serving as an FCC Commissioner since 2012.  The appointment came after the departure of Ajit Pai from the role earlier this year. FCC and ICASA have agreed to share information and cooperate on technical issues to level the ICT grounds.





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