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Schools 50% Discount

Now here is a bit of confusion, Quite some time ago The Department of Communications (DoC) had put into place a system were Schools and other Education fraternities would get a 50% discount on the Internet services, this was even written into an amendment of the TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 103 OF 1996 (appox 2001)


CHAPTER V TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES

45 Fees and charges for telecommunication services


(3) From a date to be determined by the Minister, all public schools as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996), and all public further education and training institutions as defined in the Further Education and Training Act, 1998 (Act 98 of 1998), shall be entitled to a 50% discount on-

(a) all telecommunication calls to an internet service provider; and

(b) any connection or similar fees or charges levied by an internet service provider for accessing the internet or transmitting and receiving any signals via the internet or for such access and transmission and reception


This was then carried over to the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 (ECA)

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT - No  2005


CHAPTER 13 GENERAL
73. (1) Internet services, provided to all public schools as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), and all public further education and training institutions as defined in the Further Education and Training Act, 1998 (Act No. 98 of 1998), must be provided at a minimum discounted rate of 50% off the total charge levied by the licensee providing Internet services to such institutions.

(2) The discount is applicable of the total charge levied by the licensee which includes but is not limited to the following:

(a) Any connectivity charges for access to the Internet;

(b) charges for any equipment used for or in association with connectivity to the Internet; and

  1. all calls made to an Internet Service Provider

Now this all seems clear and well set out, however there was great interest when this was announced, but it appeared that there were problems with education institutions getting the discount, in fact Eliac wrote both to DoC and ICASA with regards to this matter, of the three letters we wrote to DoC we did not get a reply, rather Ironic if you think about it. ICASA promised to look into it, but since 08 January 2007 we have not heard from them in regard to this matter


Now according to who you talk to it is either just starting or is not happing, some schools I talked to did not know that they were entitled to a discount. And there is also some confusion as to what is subject to the disconnect, some people believe that it only applies to dial-up, while reading the Act it clearly states “ Any connectivity charges for access to the Internet” and “ charges for any equipment used for or in association with connectivity to the Internet “ so that would mean that this would Include an ADSL connection as well as the ISP charge and Cap – In fact we did contact three Telkom offices and they told us that this was the case

However we then read the following on http://mybroadband.co.za/news/Broadband/3271.html MyBroadband

26 March, 2008 - The proposed e-rate – amounting to a 50% discount on Internet access for schools – is still not fully implemented and the Department of Communications’ Director General, Lyndall Shope-Mafole, blames Telkom and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for the delay

According to reports schools can get a 50 percent discount on Internet access from Telkom, but only if they opt for dial-up access - Jenny King, Director of the e-Schools Network, told MyBroadband that e-rate has definitely not been implemented fully. King said that ‘little or nothing’ is happening regarding the e-rate which should provide schools with half-price Internet access

So I have to ask, are schools getting their Discounts.... I would dearly like to hear from any schools that are either getting it or not getting it, and also if this applies to an ADSL Service as well - Please write to me at the following address info_no_spam@eliac.za.org Remove the _underlines and words no spam



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