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Licence fees for internet providers cut by UCC

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Uganda’s telecom regulator, The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has cut licence fees for Internet Service Providers Association of Uganda (ISPAU).

The reduction follows a case filed by ISPAU against the commission at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala recently.

According to a letter dated June 25,  ISPAU agreed to abandon its petition and also withdraw the pending application for judicial review in the High Court.

UCC says the service provides may either obtain a national public infrastructure provider (NPIP) licence with a maximum of two regional public service provider licences or a national public service provider licence with no infrastructure licence in any region.

“An operator who obtains a national public infrastructure provider licence or a national public services provider licence along with authorisation for the regional public infrastructure provider licences shall pay licence fees of $60,000 or 0.89% of licensee’s gross annual revenue, whichever is higher,” it states.

It also says that an operator who obtains a national public service provider licence alone, without any regional public infrastructure provider license shall pay licence fees of $20,000 or 0.89% of the licensee’s gross annual revenue.

UCC further committed itself to reducing fees of regional licenses. In 2017, UCC gazetted a licensing framework for the industry where a public infrastructure provider licence was listed at $30,000 and a regional public service provider licence at $10,000 per year.

ISPAU sought for prerogative remedies; an order quashing the new (amended) licensing fees and a permanent injunction restraining UCC from revoking the current licences of the members of ISPAU. Court documents indicate that following the first hearing of the application for interim order, UCC held two meetings with ISPAU on June 24 and 25 and concessions were made.

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