With the "silly season" fast approaching and before it becomes even "sillier", thought it may be worth catching up on a few issues that have been ridiculously silly all year.
As a dumb layman who would like nothing more than to get on with life with as little inconvenience as possible, I find it totally frustrating that I still don’t have any real choice when it comes to deciding what service providers to go with for various things in my tiny "digital world".
After much fanfare almost a year ago, I am still saddled with only one option when it comes to choosing a cost-effective and reliable telephone service provider. The second fixed line operator, that I mistakenly believed would provide me with a second option, remains a very distant possibility.
As far as being able to choose a mobile network operator, number portability hasn’t really made too much of a difference as most users are generally locked into punitive contracts or discover that the switch was really not worth the effort anyway.
Other than a totally confusing array of "special offers" and "great bundles", I can’t say that I have noticed any real difference in the quality and cost of my broadband access.
In attempting to get on with my simple life, I have given up trying to understand why it should be so difficult to resolve what appear to be fairly straight-forward issues such as the ability to introduce free-market conditions into the world of information and communications technology.
While I suppose there may be some merit in claims that some form a regulatory controls are required and that there are strategic considerations in the "national interest" to be taken into account, the bureaucratic red tape associated with ICASA and other bodies is mind-boggling.
Let’s hope that with the passing of the "silly season", we can look forward to some sanity and a real difference.
– David Bryant