INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Supremacy of Act

PART II
THE ZAMBIA INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY AUTHORITY

   4.   Continuation and re-naming of Authority

   5.   Functions of Authority

   6.   Independence of Authority

   7.   Authority to issue guidelines

   8.   Competition in sector

PART III
LICENSING OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS OTHER THAN RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS

   9.   Prohibition of operation of network or provision of service without license

   10.   Licenses

   11.   Application for license

   12.   Issue of license

   13.   Conditions of license

   14.   Variation of license

   15.   Surrender of license

   16.   Transfer of license

   17.   Amendment of license

   18.   Suspension or cancellation of license

   19.   Renewal of license

   20.   Exemption of specific persons, activities etc.

   21.   Obligations of persons undertaking exempt activities

   22.   Reserved service

   23.   Provision of essential services

   24.   Change of control of licensee

   25.   Necessity for scarce resources assignment

   26.   Register

PART IV
RADIOCOMMUNICATION SERVICES

   27.   Application of part

   28.   Prohibition of operating radio station, etc. without license

   29.   Application for license

   30.   License

   31.   Conditions of license

   32.   Duration of license

   33.   Renewal of license

   34.   License not transferable

   35.   Certificate of competence to operate amateur radio station

   36.   Unauthorised activities

   37.   Suspension or revocation of license or certificate

   38.   Notice to be given of certain works

PART V
ECONOMIC: REGULATION

   39.   Definition

   40.   Relevant markets and dominant market players

   41.   Interconnection

   42.   Register of interconnection agreement

   43.   Access agreement

   44.   Co-location

   45.   Interim arrangements for interconnection, access or co-location

   46.   Authority to be copied

   47.   Tariffs for services to public

   48.   Tariffs for services offered by licensee holding dominant position

   49.   Forbearance

   50.   Approval of tariffs and charges by Authority

   51.   Tariff rates and regulations

   52.   Penalty for using unapproved tariffs, charges etc

PART VI
TECHNICAL REGULATION

   53.   Prohibition of using frequency, bands, etc. without assignment

   54.   Spectrum and number assignment

   55.   Numbering plan

   56.   Assignment exemption

   57.   Assignment fees

   58.   Assignment renewal

   59.   Modification, suspension and withdrawal of individual assignments

   60.   Modification, suspension and withdrawal of class assignment

   61.   Rights of transfer, frequency, band, etc.

   62.   Access to public land for provision of electronic communication service

   63.   Access to private land and acquisition of private property

   64.   Technical standards for electronic communications apparatus

   65.   Standards for performance and operation of equipment or electronic communication apparatus

   66.   Type approval of equipment

PART VII
CONSUMER AFFAIRS

   67.   Quality of Service

   68.   Guidelines for handling complaints

   69.   Code of conduct for service providers

PART VIII
UNIVERSAL ACCESS AND SERVICE

   70.   Universal Access and Service Fund

   71.   Administration and management of Fund

   72.   Annual returns

PART IX
DISPUTES, REVIEWS AND APPEALS

   73.   Appeals

   74.   Appeals Tribunal

   75.   Licensee disputes

PART X
ENFORCEMENT AND OFFENCES

   76.   Inspection

   77.   Security of electronic communications installation or plant

   78.   General Offences

   79.   Failure to comply with guidelines, terms or conditions of license, etc.

   80.   Interference with programming of mobile device

   81.   Unauthorised disclosure of radio communication message

   82.   Furnishing of false information, etc.

   83.   Unauthorised interference with apparatus, etc.

   84.   Forfeiture of equipment

   85.   Use of equipment in commission of offence

   86.   Penalty for abating or attempting to commit offences

   87.   Offences by body corporate or incorporate body

   88.   Power of Director-General to compound certain offences

   89.   Offences cognizable

PART XI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   90.   Information to be furnished to Authority

   91.   Regulations

   92.   Repeal of Cap. 469 and Cap. 169

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to continue the existence of the Communications Authority and re-name it as the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority; provide for the regulation of information and communication technology; facilitate access to information and communication technologies; protect the rights and interests of service providers and consumers; repeal the Telecommunications Act, 1994, and the Radio-Communications Act, 1994; and provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[28th August, 2009]

Act 15 of 2009,

Act 3 of 2010,

SI 15 of 2013.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Information and Communication Technologies Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“aircraft station” has the meaning assigned to it in the Second Schedule;

“amateur radio station” has the meaning assigned to it in the Second Schedule;

“Authority” means the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority referred to under section 4;

“Board” means the Board of the Authority constituted under paragraph 1 of the First Schedule;

“boroadcaster” means a person licensed to operate a broadcasting service under the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act;

“certificate of competence” means a certificate issued under section 35;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed as such under paragraph I of the First Schedule;

“class” assignment means the declaration referred to in sub-section (4) of section 30;

“class license” means the license referred to under sub-section (2) of section10;

“Code of Conduct” means the Code of Conduct for licensees referred to under section 69;

“co-location” means the accommodation of two or more switches, antennae or other electronic communications network equipment in or on a single building, tower or other structure;

“company” has the meaning assigned to it in the Companies Act;

“Convention” means the International Telecommunications Convention signed in Nairobi on 6th November, 1982. or any other Convention on, or relating to telecommunication, to which the Government of the Republic of Zambia is a party;

“consumer” means a person to whom an electronic communications service is rendered, and includes any person who purchases electronic communications products otherwise than for the purpose of re-sale, but does not include a person who purchases any electronic communications products for the purpose of using them in the production and manufacture of any other goods or articles for sale;

“customer equipment” means equipment, cabling, hardware and software, employed on the customer side of the network boundary;

“dealer” means a person who carries on a trade, business or industry in which transmitting stations or their component parts are assembled, manufactured, imported, bought, sold or exchanged or offered or exposed for sale or exchange;

“diffusion service” means—

      (a)   the dissemination by means of wires or wirelessly otherwise than within the precincts of a single private residence, of the whole or any part of a broadcasting service; or

      (b)   the dissemination of music or speech by means of wires or wirelessly connecting two or more loudspeakers which—

      (i)   are installed in a specific building or within the precincts of a specified building; or

      (ii)   arc permanently fixed, otherwise than within a single specified building, in a motor vehicle, aircraft, ship or railway train, for purposes not ancillary or incidental to or connected with any exhibition, performance, including a performance by a circus, contest, game or sport, such as—

         (A)   the running of any horse race;

         (B)   the holding of any concert or the production of any play, opera, ballet, pageant or the like;

         (C)   the showing of cinematograph film; or

         (D)   the holding of any agricultural, horticultural, industrial or commercial show or any dance, cabaret, garden party, fete, fair, gymkhana or the like; and

“diffuse” shall be construed accordingly;

“Director-General” means the person appointed as such under paragraph 8 of the First Schedule;

“distress call” means a radio communication concerning safety of life on land, at sea or in the air;

“dominant position” means a position of economic strength enjoyed by a licensee which enables the licensee to prevent effective competition maintained in the market by affording the licensee the power to behave, to an appreciable extent, independently of the licensee’s competitors and consumers;

“electronic communication” means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by radio, electro-magnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, but does not include—

      (a)   any wire or direct oral communication;

      (b)   any communication made through a tone only paging device;

      (c)   any communication from a tracking device; or

      (d)   electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution in a communications system used for the electronic storage and transfer of funds;

“electronic communications apparatus” includes electronic communications network and any equipment or facility constructed or adapted for use as part of. or for the purpose of. an electronic communications service;

“electronic communications market” means an area of activity identified by the Authority, as constituting a single market within the information and communication technology sector;

“electronic communications network” means transmission systems and, where applicable, switching or routing equipment and other resources which permit the conveyance of signals by wire, radio, optical or other electro-magnetic means, including satellite networks, fixed, circuit and packet switch, internet, mobile terrestrial networks, electricity cable systems, to the extent that they are used for the purpose of transmitting signals, networks used for radio and television broadcasting and cable television networks, irrespective of the type of information conveyed;

“electronic communications service” means a service provided by means of one or more electronic communications networks;

“exempt service” means a service for which there is no licensing or authorisation required to commence business;

“Fund” means the Universal Access and Service Fund established under section70;

“Fund Manager” means the person appointed to administer the Fund under sub-section (1) of section 71;

“generating apparatus” means apparatus—

      (a)   generating or designed to generate; or

      (b)   liable to generate fortuitously;

Hertzian waves of frequency or kind prescribed by regulation;

“harmful interference” means radiation, conduction or any other electro-magnetic effect which—

      (a)   prevents or impedes, or persistently or repeatedly interrupts, a radio-communication service carried out in accordance with the provisions of this Act or of the Convention; and

      (b)   is not caused by the operation of a transmitting station in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

“Hertzian waves” means electro-magnetic waves of frequency not less than ten Hertz and not more than three million mega Hertz;

“individual assignment” means the declaration made by the Authority under section 54;

“individual license” means the license referred to under paragraph (a) of sub-section (2) of section 10;

“information and communication technology” means the application of modern communications and computing technologies to the creation, management and use of information through the utilisation of hardware, software, networks, and media for the collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information and related services;

“interconnection” means the physical or logical linking of one electronic communications network to another for the purpose of allowing the persons using one of them to be able to—

      (a)   communicate with persons using the other electronic communications network; or

      (b)   make use of services provided by means of the other electronic communications network;

“licensee” means a holder of a network license, service license, class license or individual license;

“mobile station” has the meaning assigned to it in the Second Schedule;

“network boundary” means the first equipment socket in a private residence, the main distribution frame in a building, or the point at which an electronic communications network receives electronic communications from, or send electronic communications to, a consumer;

   “network license” means the license referred to in paragraph (a) of sub-section (1) of section 10;

“network service” means a service for the carrying of information, in the form of speech or other sound, data, text or images, by means of guided or unguided electro-magnetic energy, but does not include services provided solely on the consumer side of the network boundary;

“physical co-location” means a type of co-location where a licensee controlling a building, tower or other structure in, or on which, another licensee’s switches, antennae or other electronic communications network equipment are accommodated, and allows the other licensee to operate the switches, antennae or other electronic communications network equipment;

“private land” means land other than public land;

“public land” means any land owned or held by, or under the control or management of, a Government ministry, institution or department, a chief or a local authority;

“radio apparatus” means—

      (a)   an instrument, pole, mast, standard, wire, cable, thing or means whatsoever designed, constructed or adapted for use in connection with, or for the purpose of, conveying electrical energy to, a radio station; or

      (b)   any electronic communications apparatus which is capable of transmitting or receiving any signal by radio, excluding subscriber equipment if such equipment is used solely for that purpose;

“radio station” means a receiving station or a transmitting station, or a receiving and transmitting station;

“radio-communication” means the transmission and reception of sounds, graphic images or impulses, wholly or partly, by means of Hertzian waves;

“radio- communication service” means a service whose primary activity is the transmission or reception of radio communications;

“receiving station” means apparatus designed, constructed or adapted for use for the reception of radio communications;

“register” means the register kept pursuant to section 26;

“repealed Acts” means the Telecommunications Act, 1994, and the Radio-Communications Act, 1994;

“reserved services” means the services declared as such by the Minister under section 22;

“scarce resources” means resources that are limited, or any frequency spectrum, numbers and electronic addresses;

“sector” in relation to information and communication technology, means the sector in which employers and employees are associated for the carrying on of the marketing, manufacturing, assembling, servicing, installing, maintaining or repairing systems, software, equipment, machines, devices and apparatus, whether utilising manual, photographic, optical, mechanical, electrical, electro-static or electronic principles or a combination of such principles, that are primarily intended for the recording, processing, monitoring or transmission of voice, data, image or text or any combination thereof, for use in accounting, calculating, data processing, data transmission, duplicating, text processing, document reproduction, document transmission, record keeping and record retrieval, broadcasting or transmission for entertainment or information purposes of voice, image, text or any combination thereof or the provision of services relating to the foregoing activities;

“service license” means the license referred to in paragraph of sub-section (1) of section 10;

“ship station” has the meaning assigned to it in the Second Schedule;

“telecommunications officer” means a person appointed as such under section 76;

“temporary license” means the license referred to under section 30;

“transmitting station” means apparatus, other than generating apparatus, designed, constructed or adapted for use, for the transmission or emission of radio communications;

“Tribunal” means the Appeals Tribunal established under section 74;

“Vice-Chairperson” means the person elected as such under paragraph 1 of the First Schedule;

“virtual co-location” means a type of co-location where a licensee controlling the building, tower or other structure in, or on which, another licensee’s switches, antennae or other electronic communications network equipment are accommodated, operates those switches, antennae or other electronic communications network equipment on behalf of the other licensee;

“universal access” means access by all citizens of Zambia to information and communications technology services;

“Union” means the International;

“Zambia Bureau of Standards” means the Zambia Bureau of Standards established under the Standards Act; and

“Zambia Competition Commission” means the Zambia Competition Commission established under section 8 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

   (2) For purposes of this Act, “access" includes access to—

      (a)   network elements and associated facilities;

      (b)   physical infrastructure, including buildings, ducts and masts;

      (c)   relevant software systems, including operational support systems;

      (d)   number systems or systems offering equivalent functionality;

      (e)   Fixed and mobile networks, in particular roaming;

      (f)   conditional access systems for digital television services; and

      (g)   virtual network services.

3.   Supremacy of Act

Subject to the Constitution, where there is any inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and the provisions of any other written law relating to the regulation of information and communication technologies, the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

PART II
THE ZAMBIA INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AUTHORITY

4.   Continuation and renaming of Authority

   (1) The Communications Authority established under the repealed Act shall continue to exist as if established under this Act and is for purposes of this Act hereby re-named the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority.

   (2) The Authority shall be a body corporate with a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued and, subject to the provisions of this Act, capable of performing all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

   (3) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the Authority.

5.   Autonomy of Authority

Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Authority shall be an autonomous body and shall not be subject to the direction of any other person or authority.

6.   Functions of Authority

   (1) The Authority shall regulate the provision of electronic communication services and products and monitor the performance of the sector, including the levels of investment and the availability, quality, cost and standards of the electronic communication services.

   (2) Without limiting the generality of sub-section (1), the Authority shall—

      (a)   implement and administer the licensing and assignment schemes provided for under this Act including setting standards for the sector;

      (b)   provide for national frequency and numbering plans and facilitate the efficient use and allocation of numbers and frequencies;

      (c)   promote and facilitate the provision, in urban and rural areas, of such information and electronic communication services that meets all reasonable demand including, in particular, emergency services, directory information services and maritime services;

      (d)   approve the sites at which all transmitting stations, other than aircraft stations, mobile stations or ship stations, are to be established and at which all radio station apparatus used in connection with the transmitting station is to be erected;

      (e)   disseminate information and promote the participation of the public in the provision of electronic communications services;

      (f)   promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users of information arid electronic communications services, including, in particular, persons with disabilities and the aged in respect of the accessibility, quality and variety of the services and equipment;

      (g)   promote competition among persons engaged in commercial activities relating to, or in connection with, the provision of information and communication technology and efficiency and economy on the part of persons so engaged;

      (h)   promote research, development and the use of new and appropriate technologies in the sector and promote the manufacturing and production of relevant apparatus;

      (i)   attract and encourage local and foreign investment in information and communication technology and promote the provision of international transit services;

      (j)   administer the country’ code top level domain and electronic addresses;

      (k)   allocate the frequency on which all radio transmitting stations and apparatus shall be worked;

      (l)   approve —

      (i)   the mode of transmission to be adopted in connection with all transmitting stations and the power to be radiated therefrom;

      (ii)   the classes, types and standards of transmitting stations and the radio station apparatus to be used in connection with different classes of radio communication services; and

      (iii)   the classes, types and standards of receiving stations and radio and other apparatus to be used in connection with diffusion services; and (m) perform any other functions as are necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act.

   (3) The Minister may give to the Authority such general directives with respect to the carrying out of its functions under this Act as the Minister considers necessary or expedient and the Authority shall give effect to the directives.

   (4) The Authority is hereby authorised to undertake and carry on any works or activities that, for persons other than the Authority, would by virtue of this Act require a license.

   (5) The Authority may perform such other functions and exercise such powers as are conferred on it by, or under, any other law.

   (6) In exercising the powers conferred upon it under this Act, the Authority shall have regard to the provisions of the Convention.

7.   Authority to Issue guidelines

   (1) In the exercise of its functions under this Act, the Authority may make such guidelines as are necessary for the better carrying out of the provisions this Act.

   (2) The Authority shall publish all the guidelines issued under this Act in a daily newspaper of general circulation in Zambia, and the guidelines shall not take effect until they are so published.

   (3) The guidelines issued by the Authority under this Act shall bind all persons regulated under this Act.

8.   Competition in sector

The Authority shall consult the Zambia Competition Commission on any matter relating to competition in the sector.

PART III
LICENSING OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS OTHER THAN RADIO-COMMUNICATIONS

9.   Prohibition of operation of network or provision of service without license

   (1) A person shall not operate an electronic communications network or provide an electronic communications service without a license issued under this Act.

   (2) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both.

10.   Licenses

   (1) The Authority shall issue the following licenses for purposes of this Act:

      (a)   a network license, to allow the holder thereof to construct, own or make available an electronic communications network, or to provide a network service; and

      (b)   a service license, to allow the holder thereof to provide one or more electronic communications services.

   (2) The Authority shall, in respect of each of the licenses referred to in sub-section (1), issue the following classes of license—

      (a)   individual license; and

      (b)   class license;

11.   Application for license

   (1) A person intending to operate a network or provide a service under this Act shall apply for an individual license or a class license in the prescribed manner upon payment of the prescribed fee.

   (2) The Authority shall, within sixty days of receipt of an application, grant or reject the application.

   (3) Where the Authority fails to make a decision within the period referred to under sub-section (2), except as otherwise provided under this Act. the application shall be deemed to have been granted.

   (4) The Authority shall, where it rejects an application for a license, inform the applicant accordingly and give the reasons therefor.

   (5) The Authority may request for further particulars or information in respect of an application.

12.   Issue of license

   (1) The Authority shall issue a license under this Act, if—

      (a)   the application is in accordance with the provisions of this Act; and

      (b)   the applicant is financially and technically capable of meeting the applicant’s obligations and the terms and conditions of the license.

   (2) The Authority shall communicate its decision in respect of an application for a license to the applicant, in writing, within fourteen days of such decision.

13.   Conditions of license

   (1) A license issued under section 12 shall—

      (a)   contain the terms and conditions of the license; and

      (b)   be valid for such period as may be prescribed.

   (2) The terms and conditions referred to under sub-section (1) may relate to the rights and obligations in respect of interconnection access and facility sharing.

14.   Variation of license

   (1) A licensee may, at any time during the validity of the license, apply to the Authority for variation of the terms and conditions of the license or any matter relating to the license.

   (2) The Authority shall consider the application referred to in sub-section (1) and may grant or reject the application, and shall give reasons to the applicant where it rejects the application.

   (3) The Authority may vary the terms and conditions of a license where—

      (a)   the variation is necessary in the public interest; or

      (b)   the variation is necessary to address the concerns of the members of the public or consumers.

   (4) The Authority shall, before making any variation of the terms and conditions of a license under this section, give notice to the licensee—

      (a)   stating that it proposes to make variations in the manner specified in the notice, and

      (b)   specifying the time, not being less than thirty days from the date of service of the notice on the licensee, within which written representation in respect of the proposed variation may be made to the Authority by the licensee.

15.   Surrender of license

   (1) Where a licensee decides not to continue with any undertaking to which the license relates, the licensee shall notify the Authority in writing and shall agree with the Authority on the terms and conditions of the surrender of the license, with particular reference to anything done or any benefit obtained under the license.

   (2) Where a license is surrendered under sub-section (1), the license shall lapse, and subject to section 18 be cancelled and the licensee shall cease to be entitled to any benefits obtainable under the license.

16.   Transfer of license

   (1) A licensee shall not transfer, cede, pledge, assign or otherwise dispose of, or encumber, a license without the prior approval of the Authority.

   (2) An application for approval to transfer a license shall be made to the Authority and the Authority may, within thirty days of receipt of the application—

      (a)   approve the application on such terms and conditions as it may determine; or

      (b)   reject the application in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

17.   Amendment of license

   (1) The Authority may, upon application by a licensee, amend the license where—

      (a)   some other person has succeeded to the interest in the license belonging to the licensee, by substituting for the name of the licensee, the name of the successor; or

      (b)   the name of the licensee has changed, by substituting the name so changed.

   (2) The Authority shall, before amending a license under sub-section (1) notify the public in a daily newspaper of general circulation in Zambia.

   (3) No compensation is pay able by the Authority to a licensee for any amendment to a license under this section.

18.   Suspension or cancellation of license

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act. the Authority may suspend or cancel a license if the holder—

      (a)   obtained the license by fraud or submission of false information or statements;

      (b)   contravenes this Act, any other written law relating to the license or any terms and conditions of the license;

      (c)   fails to comply with a decision or guidelines made by the Authority;

      (d)   enters into receivership or liquidation or takes any action for voluntary winding up or dissolution;

      (e)   enters into any scheme of arrangement, other than for the purpose of reconstruction or amalgamation, upon terms and within such period as may previously have been approved in writing by the Authority;

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