Making it harder for service providers to do business will not lower data prices
The government can and should lower data prices but not by strangling the industry
President Jacob Zuma’s announcement in his state of the nation address in February — directed to "the youth", no less — that the government had prioritised the lowering of data prices, should immediately have raised our scepticism about the viability of his claim. After the thorough debunking of the Data Must Fall campaign because of the questionable statistics used, his statement can only be based on the assumption that the government has a magic wand that will render data prices lower. The President, no doubt, was referring, implicitly, to some kind of regulation or price control already contained in the new Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services telecommunications policy. Jan Vermeulen at MyBroadband has pointed out that the government — not service providers — is best placed to lower data prices. According to Vermeulen, allocating radio frequency spectrum, allowing the rand to strengthen, and reducing red tape, would be the recipe for success. I largely agree, but ...
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