A chat with ICASA Cape Town’s chief cook

I was sitting at Frogfoot’s Futurex stand this afternoon. I had an interesting chat with the new head of the ICASA Cape Town office. We came to ask how our Wifi Hotspot product works… but he was more interested in our big Frogtropolis print which depicts a wireless city with antennas all over the place.

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We started talking about WAPA and licensing. He mentioned that the pressure to “take down” outdoor wireless operators using ISM bands comes from industry (“licensed” competition), but mostly from inside ICASA. My question was: if the competition is licensed to use other frequency, why would they be putting pressure on ICASA? Why would there be pressure from inside ICASA?

I did not get any clear answers other than: “the rules have been made”.

I mentioned how, 3 years ago it was illegal to use Voice over IP (VoIP) and now, looking back we can’t really say why it was illegal. He agreed.

I also suggested that it’s maybe a good idea to take a step back and think about how outdoor (ISM) wireless is used for the greater good. I told him about the SchoolWAN project and how it is enabling the remote support of computer labs at schools. He seemed interested and took down the URL.

He made a positive statements about WAPA and people “pushing the envelope” to bring about change.

Corrosion is a slow but steady process.. you just need the right environment and some catalysts for change.

Good work WAPA.

3 thoughts on “A chat with ICASA Cape Town’s chief cook

  1. Bravo!

    I think you hit the cherry on the top with your arguments. The time has come for South Africa to be progressive, not bury any hopes of progress under a ton of bricks.

    Note, there’s a small typo in your article. It should be “He seemed interested …”, not “We seemed interested …”

    Hopefully something positive will come from this.

  2. Hi Abz

    Fixed.

    He was also under the impression that people were still all using 2.4Ghz. I told him about WAPA’s progress in motivating members to migrate to 5.8Ghz and WAPA’s new spectrum analyser. I think he underestimated the work that has been done.

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