Communications regulator Icasa on Wednesday welcomed the supreme court of appeal’s decision not to grant Telkom leave to appeal in its legal battle with Vodacom over the use of access to its ducts.
The court’s decision, which deals with the leasing of facilities between licensed telecommunications operators, is seen as a landmark judgment as it potentially paves the way for operators to use each other’s ducts to connect homes and businesses to fibre broadband services. Telkom doesn’t want other operators to use its ducts — usually plastic pipes into homes and businesses containing its copper and fibre cables — and has fought tooth and nail to stop it from happening.
TechCentral broke the news on Tuesday about the supreme court’s decision, which was handed down last week.
The court refused to entertain Telkom’s application for leave to appeal, dismissing it with costs and saying “there is no reasonable prospect for success in an appeal” and “no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard”. Telkom told TechCentral it is studying the decision and hasn’t yet decided on a course of action.
“In this matter, Telkom sought to review Icasa’s decision that directed Telkom to lease its ducts to Vodacom in some residential estates in the Western Cape as required in terms of section 43 of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA),” Icasa said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘Common around the world’
“Leasing of facilities within the telecoms sector is common around the world and Icasa has developed regulations in terms of the ECA to facilitate this,” said Icasa chairman Keabetse Modimoeng in the statement.
“We welcome the supreme court ruling as it clearly shows that our regulations are critical for the advancement of the sector. We encourage our licensees — in this case, Telkom — to accept regulatory measures put in place for the benefit of consumers and the public at large,” he said. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media