The unbundling of the local loop, the last mile connectivity such as the copper lines that connect homes and businesses to Telkom’s network, is “long overdue” and “has to be dealt with”.
That’s the word from Pakamile Pongwana, who was recently appointed as CEO of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
Questioned about statements made by Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko that he is preparing to fight local loop unbundling (LLU), Pongwana’s response was blunt.
“It is Icasa that regulates, not Telkom,” Pongwana said.
“The reality is that Telkom has been fighting LLU for years,” Pongwana said. “It may have to happen anyway, whether they fight it or not.”
Pongwana said that an important question they are dealing with is whether LLU will still have the desired effect.
“It is an old concept,” Pongwana said, adding that an impact assessment may be necessary to find the best way to go about implementing LLU in South Africa.
Asked about the readiness of Icasa to implement LLU, Pongwana said that the regulations have been prepared.
Pongwana said that Icasa has had discussions with and received feedback from all the stakeholders and all that remains is for the final regulations to be published.