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Court rules for self-provisioning

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Altech Autopage is expected to comment this afternoon on the implications of today's landmark court ruling that it – and, by definition, all network service providers – may self-provide.

 The ruling means that ICASA would have to extend VANS licences to any operators wishing to build their own networks, says the reports,
Altech Autopage challenged ICASA on the issue of self-provisioning, claiming that it had backtracked on earlier promises that allowed any network provider to self-provide.
The ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) welcomes the judgement in the High Court in favour of Altech and the VANS industry as a whole. This was a complex matter and we will be studying the judgement and advising its members accordingly.
Most importantly, Altech's view that the 2005 Ministerial Determinations allowed infrastructure self-provision has been upheld, as this view has been shared by ISPA and many others in the industry. ISPA congratulates Altech on their courage in taking this matter forward. While the delays caused by this matter are extremely regrettable, ISPA notes that litigation is the ultimate test of the Regulator's independence and efficacy.
ISPA urges the Department of Communications and ICASA to accept the judgement and to work together with industry to find a pragmatic basis for licence conversion to be completed as soon as possible. ISPA hopes that this will herald a new era in South African electronic communications.
The ISPA is the largest representative of VANS licence holders in South Africa.