BUSI MAVUSO: Icasa call on ‘Covid-19 spectrum’ is a shock
The timing makes no sense — the pandemic is still with us and we remain in a state of disaster
One of the main structural reforms I have long argued SA desperately needs is far greater access to spectrum. Economic growth is being choked by a lack of data bandwidth at reasonable prices.
Its importance has been demonstrated by the pandemic. Under disaster regulations, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) granted additional spectrum to the main operators so that they could cope with the increased data demand created by lockdowns. In return, operators had to agree to conditions including sending messages on the management and prevention of Covid-19, announcements by the department of health and the presidency, the provision of virtual classroom platforms to support virtual teaching and access to sites that the department of health deems important. All for free...