The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is working on a draft to amend the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05], which has been in place since 2000.
According to POTRAZ, the old act no longer provides adequate regulatory cover, given the many changes that have taken place in the ICT sector, including the advent of mobile money.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
“Technological changes in the postal and telecommunications sector have posed challenges to the current licensing, regulation and enforcement provisions, resulting in some of the provisions becoming inadequate or obsolete in terms of dealing with some aspects of licensing and regulation.
“The proposed amendments will enable the Authority to effectively regulate the sector in accordance with market and technological trends,” said Potraz.
The telecoms regulator also said the main objective of the review process is to ensure that the country has an effective regulatory framework for the postal and telecommunications sector which meets the future needs of consumers and businesses, and facilitates economic growth.
Some of the proposed amendments to the bill include the need to introduce new classes of licences, as well as strengthening the dispute settlement role of Potraz within the sector.
Potraz also seeks to streamline regulatory processes to enable a rapid response to any technological changes and consumer needs.
The changes come at a time of a significant increase in the reliance of consumer and business on telecommunication services.
Financial services is one of the sectors which has seen an increase in the use of telecommunication services.
Potraz has invited stakeholders to comment and impart ideas on how to make the draft bill appealing to all concerned parties.