South African Internet Service Providers and .co.za website owners are now required to help the government spread information about COVID-19.
In a government gazette released on Thursday 26 March, the Department of Communications detailed these new interventions as part of their strategy to disseminate information to the public.
For websites, this will be done through a mandatory visible link on the websites landing page to sacoronavirus.co.za
In addition, the rules aim to curb the spread of fake news on social media. ISP’s have to remove fake news from their platforms once it’s been identified.
Here are the new regulations:
-Broadcasting Licensees are required to receive and disseminate public information related to the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
-All Licensees with access to radio frequency spectrum are required to make available their platforms for the streaming of public announcements to their subscribers.
-Electronic Communications Services Licensees, OTTs and ISPs must remove fake news related to COVID-19 from their platforms immediately after it is identified as such.
-All Internet sites operating within .zaDNA top level domain name must have a landing page with a visible link to www.sacoronavirus.co.za.
-Licensees must provide zero-rated access to local educational content websites.
-Audio visual services, especially the broadcasting services licensees, must increase their educational programmes to support awareness of COVID-19.
-Licensees with access to high-demand spectrum must make available connectivity to 104 district virtual classroom platforms with minimum speeds of 10Mbps to support virtual teaching during the COVID-19 national disaster.