Shackling Sector Development: Leased Lines in the Republic of South Africa

28 February 2016

Leased lines are basic building blocks of mobile networks, ISPs and virtual private networks. In South Africa they have been provided almost exclusively by Telkom SA, the incumbent operator, at comparatively high prices. Those prices were controlled as part of a general price cap by regulations, but in the absence of either competition or mandatory cost orientation, the level initially rose then declined (but slowly). Attempts to introduce infrastructure competition were badly managed and delayed. The Electronic Communication Act 2005 replaces these schemes, but the implementation is slow and has not yet brought changes.