Monday, 9 September 2013 - The FTTH Council Africa recently announced that all existing and future member organisations will have to sign and adhere to a Code of Conduct.
The FTTH Council Africa – a lobby group focussed on the fibre optic industry – took its first steps towards self-regulation as members signed a Code of Conduct committing them to the maintenance of minimum technical and service standards and adherence to ethical values.
"Africa is behind the curve in terms of its appreciation of the need for fibre optics and the regulatory regime necessary for co-ordinated infrastructure delivery. Authorities need to streamline processes and reduce the red tape involved in completing processes like right of way approvals. This situation is not unique to South Africa and across Africa we find a similar landscape" says Richard Came, President of FTTH Council Africa. "At the same time we recognise the concerns of authorities and their mandate to manage their assets. It is with that in mind that we have decided to develop a Code of Conduct for our member organisations in the telecommunications industry. We have made this document available to local authorities for their input and the response has been extremely positive. The Code of Conduct will be distributed to all local, provincial and national authorities. The main intent is to bind our members to adherence to civil engineering, health and safety standards and enable authorities to streamline and simplify the approval process. The legislative and regulatory environment does not call for ethical codes of practice and how member companies conduct themselves. We have taken it upon ourselves as an industry organisation to fulfil that role."
An industry generated Code of Conduct will benefit authorities as they will be assured all FTTH Council Africa members uphold the standards stipulated therein, in addition to providing local authorities with an avenue to lodge formal complaints against companies that do not abide by the code.
Discussions around the need for self-regulation and interaction between industry and government are some of the main objectives of the upcoming FTTH Council Africa Conference (www.ftthcouncilafrica.com/conference ). This, along with key note addresses on need-generation among end-users, the Economic and Competitive Impact of Fibre on African economies and the various applications of FTTx, are only some of the topics to be addressed during the two day conference on 29 and 30 October.