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Zero-rated internet services: What is to be done? by Admin on 09 September 2015

Facebook recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its non-for-profit initiative, Internet.org.   Facebook claims to have set up this initiative to help those in developing countries who cannot afford to pay for a fixed-line or mobile data Internet connection get online. The application provides users with access to what they term “basic internet services,” including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and a suite of country specific websites related to education, finance, health, information, the marketplace, the news, and women’s issues. Though critics have argued that this does not constitute access to the ‘free and open’ internet it is a far more comprehensive offering than Facebook Zero, their stripped down application developed originally for feature phones and the application that introduced many mobile users to the internet. This provided access to the Facebook Zero app only, which did not have any video, image and audio features. By mid-2015 Facebook had partnered with more than twelve mobile operators in seventeen countries to provide free usage of its Internet.org mobile application.

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South Africa’s contract value offerings and the entry of virtual networks - Quarter 2 2015 by Safia Khan on 25 August 2015

For the longest time Virgin mobile was the first and only virtual mobile network operator (MVNO) in South Africa. Over the last year and a half MVNOs have been on the increase, with pronounced activity and complexity in the range of the products and services they are offering to consumers.

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RIA Executive Director Alison Gillwald has received a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant in support by Admin on 24 August 2015

“Shuttleworth Foundation have a funding model that rewards brilliance and new ideas by awarding full-time Fellowships. However, bubbling around the periphery of our model it has become clear that there are voices that are not heard... This is where the Shuttleworth Flash Grant comes in. We tasked our Fellows to seek out and nominate an impressive change agent and Alison’s name was one of those that percolated through,” said Jason Hudson, a Foundation director.

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The South African Draft Online Regulation Policy as a form of “censorship by proxy”. by Enrico Calandro on 23 August 2015

The recently published Draft Online Regulation Policy (Draft Regulation) proposes far-reaching regulation of online content. The Draft Regulation is controversial not only in principle as it would restrict freedom of expression online, but also from a more practical perspective, with regards to implementation. The following blog-post discusses the potential impact of such regulation on users’ civil and political rights, particularly freedom of speech and expression, by extending its application beyond the remit of the FPB on protecting children’s rights for a safe media environment. Further, it explores unintended consequences of implementing such regulatory system.

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Postpaid Policy Brief Update by Admin on 25 May 2015

Vodacom released preliminary results for its financial year ending in March 2015, and CellC launched new products and started a buy back contract campaign in the same week as the RIA policy brief was launched. This required an immediate update.

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Bringing affordable communications to communities in South Africa: Zenzeleni Networks Read more...
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