DOC withdraws hotly contested ECA amendments

Dina Pule DOC withdraws hotly contested ECA amendmentsThe Department of Communications (DOC) has withdrawn the contentious Electronic Communications (EC) Amendment Bill with immediate effect – saying more consultation is needed.

The Bill, which was published for public comment earlier this month, has come under fire for looking to increase the powers of the Communications minister.

“The Department wishes to withdraw the EC Amendment Bill with immediate effect. This is done to allow further consultation within government on the contents of the Bill. Once this process is concluded, the Bill will again be published to solicit further input from the broader ICT industry and affected stakeholders,” the DOC stated.

The DOC had wished to table the Bill in Parliament during the course of the 2012 legislative programme. 

The Bill seeks to amend the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 in order to give clarity and to strengthen the powers, role and the functions of the minister and the authority. According to the DOC, the Bill intends to improve the turn-around times for consultation processes; to make provision for policy on ownership and control; and to revise the role of the minister and the authority regarding frequency spectrum management.

Additionally, the Bill will also seeks to refine the licensing issues as well as improving the competition provisions, and to remove regulatory challenges and any other issues around the matter.

pf button big DOC withdraws hotly contested ECA amendments

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