Picture: 123RF/Adiruch
Picture: 123RF/Adiruch

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about the ongoing debate of developing infrastructure for connectivity in SA versus property rights

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Dominic Cull, a regulatory specialist at consulting firm Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions.

Trouble began brewing a few months ago back when communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams published a policy proposal that could allow network operators unfettered access to use private land to build their infrastructure for the rapid rollout of super-fast fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet.

Cull says part of the problem stems from people not taking time to read, understand and engage with the new draft policy.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

The state said that the purpose of the proposed policy was to direct communications regulator the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to prescribe regulations on procedures and processes for resolving disputes that may arise between a network provider and any landowner, to satisfy the public interest in the rapid rollout of electronic communications networks and electronic communications facilities.

Cull takes us through the normal process of how network operators build their towers on both public and private property versus the differences set in the new policy. He also explains the considerations that are likely to have been taken into account when developing the policy and what steps need to be taken before it is final.

The discussion also touches on how the development of technology has affected property rights, the difference between a policy and actual regulations, ways in which people can engage with the state on making better policy and how 5G is likely to accelerate the building of networking infrastructure.

For more episodes, click here.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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