Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is seeking public comments and submissions on the published notice of intention to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations which came into force in February 2019.
The RIA process is necessitated by growing concerns from consumers that some of the requirements of the regulations outlined below are not being properly implemented by licensees; and that there are not much changes since the coming into effect of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations.
The Regulations introduced the following four key pro-consumer interventions which were meant to promote transparency for consumers of electronic communications services:
- Usage notifications – licensees are required to send usage depletion notifications to consumers when their usage is at 50%, 80% and 100% depletion levels. Licensees are also required to provide consumers with an option to opt-out of usage depletion notifications for voice, SMS and data services;
- Out-of-bundle billing –licensees are not allowed to charge consumers out-of-bundle rates for data when their data has run out without the consumers’ specific prior consent;
- Rollover of data – licensees are required to provide an option to consumers to rollover unused data; and
- Transfer of data – licensees are required to provide an option to consumers to transfer data to other users on the same network.
In order to carry out the impact assessment, ICASA has developed and published a notice and questionnaire to obtain information from all interested stakeholders including licensees, consumers and consumer groups, civil society organisations and other community-based organisations.
The information and opinions obtained from market participants and general stakeholders will be considered when evaluating the impact of the Regulations on licensees and consumers.
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