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The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) issued an emotional public appeal to Telkom to drop a court case challenging the recent auction of more than R14bn worth of spectrum, in an unusual move that casts doubt on the regulator’s defence and heaps political pressure on the partially state-owned company.

Icasa’s “humble” plea late on Tuesday came a day after the high court ordered the government to extend by three months the deadline to switch the country’s TV signals to digital from analogue. The switch will free up spectrum whose long range reduces the need to build towers and is crucial to providing internet coverage in rural areas...

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