You may be aware that Cape Town Internet service provider, Dotco, brought an application to interdict Telkom from implementing its much aligned ADSL pricing structure. ITWeb
has reported that Dotco was successful in obtaining an interim
interdict preventing Telkom from implementing these changes at least
until December when the matter will come before the Cape High Court for
Cape Town Internet service provider (ISP) DOTCO has
been awarded a temporary interdict against Telkom implementing its new
ADSL per usage billing structure until 5 December.
The temporary interdict was made today by Cape High Judge President
John Hlope after discussions between the advocates of DOTCO and Telkom.
In terms of the award, a final decision will be made by the High Court in December.
The temporary order was a positive development, but DOTCO customers
would have to wait until early December to see whether DOTCO would be
able to continue providing users an affordable means of accessing the
Internet, says Johan Ferreira, MD of DOTCO.
The order in favour of DOTCO did not reduce the urgent need for the
Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to rule on the
proposed billing changes because the wholesale ADSL price adjustments
were intended for all ISPs and not only DOTCO, says DOTCO’s attorney,
Brendan Hughes of Michalsons Attorneys.
DOTCO, along with another Cape Town ISP, Web Africa, complained to
ICASA that the proposed billing changes discriminate against all
non-Telkom authenticated ISPs.
Telkom’s intended price increases for ADSL usage also include a hard
cap on usage for customers of independent ISPs whereas Telkom
Internet’s own customers are allowed to continue using the Internet on
a restricted basis at no further charge once the theoretical usage caps
have been reached, says DOTCO’s Ferreira.
“This is unfair,??? says Ferreira, “and we are hoping that ICASA will
recognise this unfairness and act in the best interests of all
telecommunication users and their service providers.???
ICASA is empowered by section 53 of the Telecommunications Act to
declare a moratorium on any intended action by a telecommunications
licence-holder that is likely to operate unfairly against any category
of persons, Hughes confirmed.
The big question now is what ICASA will do in the face of what many consider to be further evidence of Telkom’s profiteering.