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The year of 1984 was the starting date for the modern history of telecommunications. It saw the introduction of competition into the US market and privatisation in the UK with the divestiture by AT&T of seven regional Bell operating companies (the Baby Bells), the privatisation of British Telecom as a public limited company and the establishment of the British Regulator, Oftel.1

The same year also saw the publication of the report of the ITU’s Maitland Commission (“The Missing Link”), which firmly established for the first time the link between access to telecommunications and development, and drew attention to the benefits networks could deliver to emergency operations, social services, administration and commerce.

Thus began two decades of parallel and sometimes intersecting work on telecommunications reform and communications for development programmes, culminating in December 2003 with the World Summit on the Information Society held in Geneva. WSIS is a test of whether the telecommunications revolution can meet the twin demands of liberalisation and public service and reconcile the interests of big business, governments and civil society. statistics_theme_top_text

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 South Africa: Icasa delays mobile TV policy
26/02/2009 (MyBroadband.co.za) -- The Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) unexpectedly withdrew an invitation to apply for mobile TV licences recently. |

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 Telkom competitors now have licences, but will they compete?
03/03/2009 -- After months of legal wrangling and delays, over 400 value added network service providers (VANS) now have electronic communications network service licences in hand. This means these companies have virtually the same rights as incumbent Telkom: they can build networks as they choose. The irony is that VANS effectively now have the same rights as Neotel, which paid R100m for its licence. But will they compete? |
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