MTN warns the new Telecoms bill will be a Disaster

JOHANNESBURG-  MTN has claimed that the new amended Government Communications Amendment Bill is unconstitutional and will create a infrastructure monopoly in the telecommunications industry, making it harder for innovation.

The company has submitted their arguments against the new amendment bill, as the telecommunications department had opened discussions to industry players and operators to submit their views and concerns, interested parties had until the 31st January to make submissions.

The new amended bill states that a, “comprehensive U-turn on a model that delivered tens of billions (of rand) of investments, competitive broadband infrastructure, even in rural areas, and world-class choice and innovation, in favour of an untested and extreme regulatory model centred on re-monopolisation of infrastructure, cost-based access and expropriation of property”.

MTN submissions has criticized that the  amendment, “It would be as short-sighted as legislating for a monopoly bread bakery, in the hope that competition between grocery retailers would drive good quality, low prices and widespread availability of bread.”

There is been growing pressure from industry players to withdraw the bill, as MTN states that the bill, “violates the property clause in the constitution, fails to meet the rationality requirement imposed by section 1(c) and section 22 of the constitution, and is “impermissibly vague”.

“This unique, untested and extreme regulatory model has been introduced based on an impact assessment that is entirely qualitative; focused on a list of hypothetical benefits, which appear to be unsupported by the economic literature and market research; and largely unconcerned about its impact on investment and innovation incentives.”

Photo Credit- Business Live

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