- The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) and Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) will convene a Southern African Internet Governance Forum (SAIGF) from 1-3 September 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was established in 2006 as a direct result of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Phase II, held from 16-18 November 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia. The World Summit recognised the importance and benefits of “enhanced cooperation” in harnessing the powers of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for socio-economic development at all levels - global, regional, national and local.
The mandate of the IGF is not to be a decision-making body, but to offer a valuable space for dialogue for all those who have an important role and responsibility in the development of the Information Society to discuss Internet governance issues, and allows participants to share practical experiences from different perspectives. It is a multi-stakeholder mechanism which includes Governments, international organisations, the private sector, civil society, academics, the technical community, and others with a view to encouraging policy dialogue.
The original mandate of the IGF was from 2006-2010 during which five IGFs were held in various countries. A renewed mandate has been provided for 2011-2015, and from 27-30 September 2011 Kenya will host the sixth IGF and first under the new mandate.
The aims of the SAIGF is to ensure that the views and voices of Southern Africa are represented at the 2011 IGF and to contribute to the establishment of a coordinated and coherent framework for dealing with Internet governance issues in Southern Africa. The SAIGF will identify, deliberate upon, and collate issues relating to the Internet, its governance and development in Southern Africa, and document suggested interventions for addressing such issues.
If you are interested in attending the SAIGF, please complete the “Expression of Interest”.
Participation is free of charge, but will be limited to 120 delegates.
Limited funding for travel is available to support the participation of delegates, but preference will be given to those who can demonstrate commitment by meeting some of the cost.
The deadline for submissions of "Expression of Interest" is Friday, 5 August 2011.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it plans to block some messaging and Web services on BlackBerry smartphones.
The announcement, which comes days after the country warned the device could pose a potential threat to national security and social values, will see BlackBerry messaging, e-mail and web browsing services suspended starting October 11.
The government has singled out BlackBerry, and not other phones that can access e-mail and the Web, because the devices automatically send users' data to servers overseas, where local laws do not apply.
To read the article titled, “UAE to block Blackberry services,” click here.Source:Sunday Times
- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) could face legal action if it does not reconsider its decision to give companies just three weeks to apply for the new digital mobile television service licence.
The latest comes after black-owned Mobile TV Consortium wrote to ICASA chairperson, Paris Mashile, objecting to the 7 May deadline.
The letter said it was not reasonable to expect companies to meet the requirements of the mobile television regulations in the time given, and that the deadline is not only anticompetitive but unconstitutional as it is biased towards existing operators.
To read the article titled, “ICASA legal threat risks mobile TV promise to FIFA,” click here.Source:Business Day
- The government is finalising the amendment of legislation governing the telecommunications regulator in order to resolve the tension between the organisation’s council and its management.
Tension has long existed between the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) councilors and its management, headed by CE Karabo Motlana, because of a lack of clarity about their different roles and responsibilities.
Last year, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on communication, Ismail Vadi, said that the tension is hampering ICASA’s ability to regulate effectively because the council and management work in opposite directions.
To read the article titled, “Legislation on its way to ensure ICASA is run better,” click here.
- A study conducted by technology research and strategy organisation, World Wide Worx in collaboration with Cisco, has found that Internet via broadband connections increased by more than 50 percent in the past year.
The study found that the number of South Africans accessing the Internet via broadband connections has increased by more than 50 percent in the past year.
It also shows that the Internet Access in South Africa 2010 study, found that wireless broadband has grown almost three times as fast as fixed line broadband in South Africa.
To read the article titled, “Broadband up 50% in a year in SA,” click here.Source:Finance24
- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has issued a discussion document aimed at implementing a regulatory framework for Internet protocol television (IPTV).
Steven Ambrose, an analyst at World Wide Worx, says the IPTV could be a nonstarter until there is broadband access and also fibre to homes and gated areas.
“Few people in South Africa have access to high-speed Internet at home. The current high-speed Internet service is not good enough for IPTV. There should be uncapped bandwidth for IPTV,” explains Ambrose.
IPTV is television content delivered through broadband internet connection. Traditionally fixed-line telecommunications service providers worldwide provide IPTV services, but they have not yet taken off in SA.
To read the article titled, “ICASA opens discussion on internet TV,” click here.Source:Business Day
- The Botswana Thetha ICT Discussion Forum will be held on 10 March 2010 at the Gaborone Sun in Gaborone, Botswana.
The event forms part of a series of regional events that SANGONeT is hosting in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. Organised and implemented in conjunction with the Department of Library & Information Studies at the University of Botswana, the Botswana event will bring together various ICT stakeholders, including representatives from government, ICT industry, NGOs and the donor community, to discuss key “ICT for Development (ICT4D)” challenges and opportunities relevant to the future development of Botswana.
Discussions at the event will be informed by a research report, "Towards an Information Society in Botswana", which was compiled by researchers as the Department of Library & Information Studies at the University of Botswana.
To read the report, refer to http://www.ngopulse.org/sites/ngopulse.org/files/botswana_thetha_final_4....
To participate in the event, please contact Prof Stephen Mutula at the Department of Library & Information Studies, University of Botswana on Tel: +267 355 2627 or Mobile: +267 71 42 4991.Event start date:10/03/2010Event end date:10/03/2010Event venue:Gaborone Sun Hotel, GaboroneEvent type:SeminarContact person(s):
- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has hinted that it could take on cellphone operators over ‘astronomical’ pay-as-you-go rates.
ICASA chairperson, Paris Mashile, told Parliament's portfolio committee on communications that there is an urgent need for competition in the pay-as-you-go market, which is used mainly by the poor.
Mashile pointed out that, "This is an area we have got to delve into and find out what we have to do to make it competitive, in terms of the prices coming down."
To read the article titled, “ICASA takes aim at cell pay-as-you-go rates,” click here.Source:Sunday Times
- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has approved a cut in the rate charged by the three main cellphone operators to connect calls between networks.
Vodacom, MTN and Cell C last month filed an agreement with ICASA proposing a cut in the peak interconnection rate from R1.25 to 89 cents on March 1.
ICASA rejected the plan because it would have forced it to agree to a fixed gradual reduction over three years.
To read the article titled, “ICASA approves connection rate cut,” click here.Source:Independent Online
- A drop in interconnection tariffs is long overdue. This is according to telecommunications group, Neotel.
Neotel spokesperson, Wandile Zote, points out that, "This drop will go a long way in alleviating pressure for the consumer and is a step in the right direction."
Zote states that Neotel fully supports the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's regulatory process under section 10 of the Electronic Communications Act and trust that this will mean a further drop in interconnection rates.
Mobile operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C said recently interconnection tariffs would be lowered next year.
To read the article titled, Neotel: Drop in interconnection tariffs long overdue, click here.Source:Independent Online