Presentation of the findings on the ICASA Framework for Introducing Local Loop Unbundling
30 Nov 2011Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, and thank you for joining us today.
We are pleased to announce that we are publishing the Findings of a Section 4B Inquiry into the ICASA Framework for Introducing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU).
This process has been a long time coming, and I dare say that many of you are eager to hear the outcome. I would like to point out that a deadline of the end of November was accepted by ICASA for the introduction of this Framework, and that today is the 30th of November.
This Finding is the outcome of a consultative process, and I thank those many concerned individuals and stakeholders who devoted their time and energy to making this process a success. Without consultation with the experts in the industry and civil society, ICASA’s job would be far harder.
Nevertheless, they frequently disagree with each other, which is where we need to bring our own judgement to bear.
I’d also like to thank the Councillors and staff members making up the Project Team dealing with this subject. They have worked long and hard to absorb the issues and to balance the competing and conflicting pressures in this area.
A copy of the Findings will be handed out after I have finished speaking. In the meantime, I’d like to summarise the Findings as follows:
We have issued a short Findings Note that outlines the Findings of the
- LLU is an intervention that offers significant advantages to operators and to the consumer. However, it also involves significant disruption to operators, particularly the incumbent.
- The Authority has determined that the existence of an Access Line Deficit is a significant obstacle to the introduction of fixed line local loop unbundling.
- The Authority will therefore take a phased approach to the introduction of LLU.
- As a first step, the Authority will undertake a public consultation process to establish an Access Line Deficit Recovery Scheme. This will commence in February next year.
- Secondly, the Authority will engage with industry to ensure that the price of the existing service, IP Connect, is reduced. It is expected that this will be with effect from the 31st March next year.
- hirdly, the Authority will engage with industry to ensure that a true Bitstream product is introduced, by the 1st November next year. Bitstream is generally considered the first step of LLU, and was requested by a number of stakeholders.
- In order to facilitate the introduction of Bitstream, the Authority will establish an industry working group to address technical issues, including the establishment of an Ordering System Specification mechanism. This will convene starting in February next year.
- The Authority will conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the costs and benefits of the fixed line full loop, sub loop and shared line forms of LLU, commencing in mid-2012
- Thereafter, depending on the outcome of the RIA, the Authority will conduct a Market Review on the fixed line local access market and introduce supplementary LLU regulations.
- As a separate process, the Authority will undertake an inquiry into the unbundling of wireless access networks.
Inquiry. This lays out the framework and schedule for LLU in the future.
Copies are available to you here, and will be published in the Government Gazette shortly. A more comprehensive Reasons Document will be published in due course, which explains the rationale behind the decisions taken.
I thank you for your time and attention, and invite questions of the Panel.
Dr Stephen Mncube
Issued by: Independent Communications Authority of South Africa
30 Nov 2011
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