Lobby groups have called on parliament to withdraw a proposed law meant to regulate infrastructure sharing and boost competition in the telecommunications sector, saying certain aspects of the bill are unconstitutional. One of the contentious proposals in the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill is the establishment of a wireless open-access network (Woan), which the government says is aimed at driving down communications costs by facilitating entry of more players. The government says the bill is also intended to improve competition, regulation and infrastructure sharing in the sector amid a spectrum crunch. The bill further proposes that a service provider with “significant market power”, or at least 25% of SA’s network infrastructure, has to share its infrastructure with competitors. According to the bill, which is being considered by parliament’s telecommunications and postal services portfolio committee, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will prescribe ...

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