HomeNewsHollywoodbets Launches Internet Service Provider in South Africa

Hollywoodbets Launches Internet Service Provider in South Africa

Hollywoodbets, a major sports betting company in South Africa, has launched an internet service provider (ISP) called Hollywood Connect. The new ISP has applied to the country’s telecommunications regulator, ICASA, to acquire two network licenses.

Hollywood Connect has applied for the transfer of ownership of Individual Electronic Communications Service (I-ECS) and Individual Electronic Communications Network Service (I-ECNS) licenses from East Coast Access. These licenses will allow Hollywood Connect to offer nationwide internet services and roll out its own physical network infrastructure.

ICASA has published a notice of Hollywood Connect’s application in the Government Gazette. An I-ECS license allows the holder to offer internet services over their own or another company’s network, while an I-ECNS license permits an entity to build and operate its own physical network.

Individual licenses are highly sought-after and difficult to obtain, as they allow for provincial and national service, unlike the more limited class licenses. In particular, new I-ECNS licenses can only be issued if the Minister of Communications publishes a policy directive allowing ICASA to invite applications.

According to the ISP Association of South Africa, existing I-ECNS licenses can often cost over R1 million to acquire second-hand, as ICASA has not issued new ones since 2010. Even the state-owned network operator Broadband Infraco had to go through a tender process to obtain an I-ECS license.

Hollywood Connect is currently only available in parts of Durban, where its parent company Immedia Ecosystem is based. The acquisition of these new licenses suggests the ISP plans to roll out infrastructure and offer services nationwide.

An analysis of the Hollywoodbets autonomous system shows it currently advertises 2,042 IP addresses assigned to the organization, indicating the scale of its existing internet operations.

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