New zero-rating rules for some SA websites

Date:8 June 2020 Author: Leila Stein

New rules regarding the zero-rating of certain sectors’ websites were released by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies. These were primarily websites who serve the Health and Educations sectors.

According to BusinessTech, the Department aims to help those without access to data, or who cannot afford constant expensive data costs, to be able to search and receive vital information in these sectors.

The new rules, in addition to the existing COVID-19 website regulations, include:

Education websites

Websites which qualify for zero-rating are:

– Department of Basic Education and provincial department websites

– Local websites offering free access to educational resources

– Local commercial sites offering learners and/or parents unconditional or free access to educational resources and their school’s reaching and learning content

– Websites of educational institutions registered with 9 PEDs

– Websites of education institutions accredited by Umalusi

College and higher-education websites

Websites of college and higher-education institutions require zero-rating subject to department approval are:

– An institution established, deemed to have been established or declared as a public higher education institution in terms of the Higher Education Act or a public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (WET) institution or a Community Education and Training (CET) college referred to in the Continuing Education and Training Act

– Public Nursing and Agricultural colleges

-An institution registered as a private higher education institution in terms of the Higher Education Act, 1997 or a private college registered in terms of the Continuing Education and Training Act

– An institution accredited with one of the Quality Councils to offer programmes/courses which must channel the request through the relevant Quality Council that will submit it on that institution’s behalf

-An institution which has a memorandum of understanding or similar contract with an existing, registered higher education institution or college which must channel the request through the institution that it is working with. The latter institution must submit the request on the former institution’s behalf as critical to the former institution’s teaching & learning)

– An institution which has an or domain.

Health sector

All COVID-19 related websites identified by the department will be zero rated. In addition, zero-rating must also be provided for websites relevant to Mobile Health Applications which provide information or enable interventions for COVID-19.

Also read: New website rules for SA during COVID-19

Image: Unsplash

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