Chapter 2. Regulatory frameworks and digital strategies

This chapter provides guidance for policy makers on ways to encourage investment, competition and the use of broadband access services within their regulatory frameworks and digital strategies. Regulatory frameworks lay out the playing field for all players, including operators and application/content providers, as well as national, regional and municipal governments and regulatory agencies. Digital strategies initiate and co-ordinate public and private involvement in programmes and projects to extend broadband access and increase its use both by individuals and by businesses.

  

This chapter focuses on two key elements of the broadband policy toolkit: the regulatory framework and the broader strategic framework. These are essential to help develop broadband access and use. On the one hand, the regulatory framework includes the division of powers among the different institutions involved in the governance of telecommunications markets. On the other hand, the broader strategic framework, usually referred to as “digital strategies”, “digital agendas” or “national information and communications technology (ICT) strategies”, aims to extend the availability and use of broadband. It should be noted that Chapters 3 and 4 outline good practices for encouraging competition and investment through regulatory measures.

This chapter addresses the division of powers between different telecommunications and ICT national authorities, governing their organisation, scope and co-ordination. An adequate regulatory framework sets a clear separation of powers, articulates collaboration among different institutions and provides a sound legal basis for policy definition and implementation. This is essential to encourage investment and competition, and to co-ordinate public and private initiatives for consumers’ benefit. The aim of this chapter is not to prescribe how institutional structures should be, but to outline the relative advantages and disadvantages of different institutional arrangements (e.g. lack of independence of regulators and separation of concerns between policy making and regulatory issues aimed to encourage competition).

In addition to setting a stable pro-investment and pro-competitive regulatory framework, governments should articulate digital agendas designed to include, in a co-ordinated fashion, all the different issues related to digital economy and ICT promotion – from supply-side policies designed to encourage broadband coverage, to demand-side policies targeted at promoting ICT skills, affordability, e-government, e-health, e-commerce and ICT use by business and citizens. This chapter also offers guidance, recommendations and good practices on how best to articulate a governance model for broadband policy.

Digital strategies are examined in this chapter from the perspective of ensuring co-ordination among different public administrations involved in collecting input and feedback from stakeholders. Specific issues on broadband national plans are explored in Chapter 5. The design of specific plans and actions on other aspects addressed in digital agendas, such as e-government and e-health promotion, are also addressed in separate chapters.

Policy objectives for the LAC region

Key policy objectives for the regulatory frameworks

  • Encouraging the expansion of broadband services. Regarding broadband access, the main objective of national regulatory frameworks is to encourage choice for consumers and enable them to benefit from innovative services at competitive rates. Experience shows that encouraging private investment and competition is a key way of ensuring this objective. Thus, the aim of regulatory frameworks should be to ensure effective competition and provide an incentive for investment, allowing the market where possible to do the heavy lifting. This means deploying networks and offering competitive services, and acknowledging that public intervention may be required. This does not mean that the market should not be regulated. On the contrary, encouraging investment and competition in communication markets often requires well-designed regulation.

  • Lowering barriers for investment in broadband networks and services. Policy objectives focused on increasing investment should be based on regulations aimed at lowering barriers. Telecommunications markets need long-term investment, and this requires that all stakeholders know in advance the applicable rules in a regulatory framework. One of the key policy objectives in setting a regulatory framework is to promote stability and predictability of regulation and its implementation, minimising the burden for market actors, while encouraging competition among them, using only ex post measures when possible.

  • Encouraging public initiatives that complement private initiatives when necessary. Notwithstanding the key role played by private initiatives in deploying networks and providing broadband services, in certain cases, public investment may be needed to ensure that all people and geographical areas benefit from ICT services. The regulatory framework must set clear rules for public intervention to ensure adequate interplay between public and private initiatives (including public-private partnerships), aiming to facilitate public action when needed, but also preserving competition and incentives for private-sector investment.

  • Upholding a consistent and effective policy framework for all market actors. Any regulatory framework for ICTs should be based on defining clear, general rules for all market actors involved across the value chain, based on competitive principles, and ensuring consistency and effectiveness of regulatory policies. The application of general competition principles in the regulatory framework allows for stability, as these principles are valid for all technologies, as well as predictability in the evolution of the regulatory framework.

  • Ensuring independence of regulators. A key objective of a sound regulatory framework should be to ensure independence for regulators entrusted with the application, transparency and accountability of the regulatory process, and to ensure multi-stakeholder co-operation in the policy development processes to help achieve objectives. Collaboration between the public and private sector is necessary to reach sectoral goals.

Key policy objectives for digital strategies

Digital strategies are cross-sectoral programmes addressing the different policy objectives involved in the digitisation of economies and societies. This includes developing initiatives to achieve policy objectives on the supply side, such as broadband access extension to ensure digital connectivity for individuals and businesses (Chapter 5); deployment of infrastructure aimed to improve regional and international connectivity; and co-ordination with policy makers and regulators in other countries (Chapter 8). On the demand side, digital strategies include areas such as affordability (Chapter 6); developing ICT skills (Chapter 9); business ICT uptake and entrepreneurship (Chapter 10); e-health and e-government applications (Chapters 11 and 12); and increasing consumers’ trust in the digital economy (Chapters 13, 14 and 15).

The key policy objective of digital strategies is to maximise the dividends of ICTs, and especially the Internet, a vital medium of economic and social activities. This can be considered under different specific sub-objectives (Box 2.1).

Box 2.1. Key pillars of digital strategies
  • Develop telecommunications infrastructure (e.g. access to broadband and telecommunication services) and preserve an open Internet.

  • Promote the ICT sector, including its internationalisation (encouraging international trade of ICT services).

  • Strengthen e-government services, including enhanced access to public sector information (PSI), services and data (i.e. open government data).

  • Strengthen trust (digital identities, privacy and security).

  • Encourage the adoption of ICTs by businesses and SMEs in particular, with a focus on key sectors such as i) health care; ii) transport; and iii) education.

  • Advance e-inclusion, with a focus on the ageing population and disadvantaged social groups.

  • Promote ICT-related skills and competencies, including basic ICT skills and ICT specialist skills.

Tackle global challenges such as Internet governance, climate change and development co-operation.

Source: OECD (2015), Digital Economy Outlook, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264232440-en.

Tools for measurement and analysis in the LAC region

Regulatory frameworks

Regular assessment of the goals of the regulatory framework helps ensure that it is leaving room for competition, investment and innovation in broadband services. Regular assessment will also allow for adjusting the framework to new challenges, while general principles of competition ensure predictability.

A first set of tools for assessing if a regulatory framework is sound is by collecting information and preparing key indicators, such as the level of prices, competition, investment and infrastructure deployment. These allow regulators to detect trends, bottlenecks and other issues as they review the regulatory framework. This information should be published regularly to inform stakeholders and let them provide feedback and any proposals for changes.

Regular public consultations should be carried out on the effectiveness and adequacy of the regulatory framework. This also includes any policy proposals to improve or adapt the regulatory framework to new situations or to correct existing problems. Well-designed public consultations allow for feedback from all stakeholders and anticipate potential issues before enacting new regulations.

Regular benchmarking with reference countries is valuable, to identify areas of improvement and different regulatory models. Active participation in the LAC regulatory networks in the region, as well as other fora, is also a good source of information for developing regulatory frameworks. Peer and third-party independent reviews are useful for providing comprehensive external views of areas where the regulatory framework can be improved. The peer reviews undertaken by the OECD of the telecommunications markets in Colombia (OECD, 2014) and Mexico are examples of this approach (OECD, 2012).

Digital strategies

Establishing an effective oversight mechanism for digital strategies is important to: i) provide appropriate incentives for performance from managers and stakeholders; ii) evaluate how the digital strategy affects targeted beneficiaries; iii) determine resource allocation and improve planning, and iv) to provide input for decisions regarding its strategic direction.

Digital strategies usually involve plans for different policy areas. This means that the tools and measurements to assess the overall objective of national strategies must be based on key performance indicators for each of the different plans in a digital strategy. Although monitoring each plan on the agenda is important, comprehensive monitoring that brings together information on overall progress is necessary. This allows national authorities to identify potential problems when objectives in one policy area (e.g. increasing Internet skills) are associated with other goals on which their success depends (e.g. the availability of Internet access).

One useful tool for assessing and improving digital strategies is to perform comparisons with a peer group of broadly comparable countries. For example, the Nordic countries tend to benchmark their progress with other Nordic countries, Chile with other Latin American countries, and South Africa with the other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, the People’s Republic of China and South Africa). In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required to provide comparative data for at least 25 countries in its annual report on advanced services. The digiLAC website (www.iadb.org/digilac), maintained by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), allows for comparisons among countries in the LAC region, as well as with OECD countries, with a specific focus on broadband policies and broadband key indicators.

The OECD has established models for reviewing policies, including a peer-review method. Spain’s digital strategy, the Plan Avanza, for example, was subject to a voluntary peer review in late 2009, key elements of which referred to policies and actions on the availability and use of broadband (OECD, 2010).

Overview of the situation in the LAC region

All the countries in the LAC region have a regulatory framework in force specifically designed for telecommunications, addressing the main issues on distribution of powers among different institutions and outlining the main principles for promoting competition and investment. Annex 1 shows the existing regulatory frameworks for the countries in the LAC region. Detailed country comparisons of broadband policies and regulation can be found at the IDB’s digiLAC website (www.iadb.org/digilac).

Most countries have a Communications Regulatory Authority, with varying levels of independence from the government (Annex 3 shows the policy/regulatory bodies in the region). However, despite the existence of ICT and telecommunication plans, only less than half, have comprehensive national digital strategies that includes many measures to promote the supply and demand of broadband infrastructures, services, applications and skills. Annex 2 lists all the digital strategies in the LAC region, identifying key policy objectives and the bodies responsible for their implementation. While these strategies are generally co-ordinated by the ministry in charge of telecommunications policy, with several countries have also involved the communications authority in the design and co-ordination of the national digital strategy, some countries in the region do not yet have an adequate governance model to monitor and control implementation.

Among the issues in the LAC region seen as needing improvement is the lack of stability of the communications regulatory framework in countries that institute changes too frequently, reducing regulatory certainty for investors. In some countries, the division of responsibilities and authority between the government, the communications authority and/or the competition authority is not clear, with overlapping powers or intersecting management. This makes regulatory action more complex and cumbersome, which can result in inaction and give dominant operators more opportunities to circumvent the regulatory measures needed for competition. Annex 4 shows the distribution of power among policy/regulatory bodies in the LAC region.

In some LAC countries, the communications authority is controlled by the government and/or its decisions can be vetoed. This undermines the independence of the communications authorities and may have negative consequences for regulatory initiatives intended to promote competition and private investment.

Although advances have been made in recent years in enhancing the independence of regulatory authorities, the nominations to the communication authority’s boards could still be improved in terms of transparency and use of criteria based on experience and professional competence. Mandates for members of the board are also in some cases too long, exceeding six years, for example.

One key aspect of ensuring the independence of communications authorities is to ensure separate and adequate budgeting for the regulatory agency responsible for applying sector-specific regulation. Budgeting for the regulatory agency is sometimes set by the government without clear rules, and in a number of cases, the regulatory agency may be underfunded, so that resource-consuming tasks, such as market analysis and market monitoring, cannot be adequately carried out.

In the courts, decisions made by the regulatory authorities are often overturned, suspended or not adequately enforced. This undermines regulatory action. Although judicial oversight is needed to ensure that fundamental rights are respected, this should not allow stakeholders to systematically block or delay regulatory decisions. Regulatory authorities should be able to enforce regulation, and to impose proportionate fines that discourage infringements. Some regulatory authorities in the LAC region do not have this power, or the level of fines that they are permitted to impose is too low.

The legal authority to collect and publish data from market players is essential. It is also important to allocate enough resources to the communications regulator to allow for statistical analysis. Market players and investors need an annual report and regular updates on the competitive situation and the performance of different communication services. In a few specific cases, communications authorities do not have the power to collect relevant information from stakeholders. The Inter-American Development Bank has detailed information about data collection in LAC countries (IDB, 2015).

With the exception of five countries in Central America and the Caribbean, most countries in the region have a competition authority dealing with general competition issues in all economic sectors, including telecommunications services. An effective competition authority is important for broadband and telecommunications services, because many anti-competitive practices are addressed by competition law on an ex post basis for all sectors of the economy (e.g. anti-trust law).

Co-ordination between competition authorities and communications authorities is vital to facilitate regulation and avoid contradictory decisions. Some countries have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the competition and communications regulatory bodies, to ensure better co-ordination and determine ground rules for the intervention of each authority. However, room for improvement remains in formalising co-ordination between the two authorities when making decisions on market analysis, mergers and acquisitions and other issues where both agencies would benefit from co-ordination. In some LAC countries, as in the OECD area (such as for the Authority for Communications and Markets, or ACM, in the Netherlands, Spain’s Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia [CNMC], or the Office of Communications, or Ofcom, in the United Kingdom), the communications authority also has powers comparable to those of a competition authority but limited to the telecommunications sector, to allow for more co-ordinated regulatory action.

A number of LAC countries involve stakeholders in the design of national digital strategies, through public consultations, sectoral fora or digital platforms for collecting citizens’ feedback. However, many do not have enough public consultations on key policy regulatory decisions, such as the preparation of new laws, market analysis or broadband plans. The time allotted for stakeholders to provide written comments is often too short. A number do not publish feedback from stakeholders or the rationale for adopting or rejecting comments by the institution carrying out public consultation.

Good practices for the LAC region

The design and implementation of digital strategies

Digital strategies are master plans involving not only the ICT ministry but government bodies in charge of finance, public administration, industry, education, culture and labour. Designing digital strategies requires co-ordination among the public institutions involved, to set realistic targets and make sure procedures are in place to monitor their progress. The design of digital agendas may be so complex that it is not appropriately harmonised. A co-ordinating body for a digital strategy is needed to establish a mechanism for decision making in areas where different government bodies’ competences overlap. Clear responsibility for the overall strategy, and adequate power to make decisions is crucial to ensure success.

In countries that prioritise a rapid transition to a digital society, the office of the president or prime minister may take the lead in co-ordinating the digital agenda, as, for example, in Korea. One good practice applied in some countries is appointing chief information officers or adjusted ministerial portfolios, to improve co-ordination and ensure the productivity and other benefits expected from the use of broadband networks.

Formal co-ordination mechanisms, such as participation of the various ministries in a digital agenda programme steering group, may also be considered. These should include experts from the private sector and academia, who can provide feedback on the different issues addressed in the digital agenda. Regional and municipal governments, as well as consumer organisations, should be invited to participate in these steering groups. The group should meet regularly to assess implementation of the digital agenda, detect gaps and assess proposals for improvements. Accountability and monitoring indicators directly related to the digital strategy’s goals are also key to ensuring success.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be an efficient model for implementing actions under a national strategy for publicly funded broadband access extension plans or projects. Examples can be found in the OECD and IDB documents included in the references for Chapter 5, which discusses good practices on PPPs.

Legal instruments for broadband regulation

A general telecommunications law usually provides the legal and policy framework for the sector, distributing powers among different institutions and setting the main principles for authorisations, competition issues, consumer protection, etc. Separately, competition law sets the framework for ex post intervention (e.g. antitrust regulation) and is usually applicable for the telecommunication sector.

Telecommunications regulatory frameworks set specific rules for ex ante intervention for the sector and are more specific, and tend to be more dynamic, than competition law. However, it is good practice to ensure that the general principles of telecommunication regulatory frameworks are stable, technologically neutral, and based on a forward-looking approach, within a horizon of two or three years. Specific regulations are usually needed in due course to address issues related to new services, new technologies, addressing the need to share certain infrastructures, or to set specific procedures (as for example, number portability). In general, this can be achieved through decrees or regulations issued by the national regulatory authority.

Finally, regulatory bodies, such as the Communication Authority or the Competition Authority, need to adopt decisions imposing specific obligations on market actors when regulating broadband. For this, it is important to equip these bodies with effective legal tools to curb market power throughout the digital ecosystem, not only for telecommunications. This includes the ability to impose fines proportionate to infractions and aimed to encourage compliance with regulatory decisions.

Involvement of non-governmental stakeholders

Stakeholders’ engagement in formulating strategy and policy is important to improve the quality of laws, policies and their implementation. Integrating stakeholder input into the policy making and regulatory processes strengthens public trust in government and allows for better policy decisions. This is especially relevant for key policy instruments such as regulatory frameworks, and the main pro-competition and pro-investment regulatory decisions.

The tools available for this purpose are the publication of draft legislative projects, public consultations, public hearings and digital participation. Many countries have set up a broadband forum to engage operators, business, consumer associations and other organisations of civil society in the design of policies promoting broadband deployment, access and use. In addition, institutional websites should be kept up to date, clearly organised and provide easy access to all public documents.

In carrying out public consultation, it is important to apply the following good practices:

  • The public consultation must be announced on the institutional website, providing links to relevant documents, deadlines for feedback and simple procedures for sending stakeholders feedback. In specific cases, it may be advisable to inform key stakeholders of the public consultation. Stakeholders should have enough time to prepare responses to the public consultation.

  • Apart from the regulatory proposal, plan or document subject to public consultation, in certain cases it is also useful to include specific questions to stakeholders, to collect opinions or relevant information to facilitate informed policy decisions. Responses received should be published on the institutional website (respecting confidentiality on issues that the stakeholder does not wish to share), and it is also good practice to provide the information, economic and legal arguments for decisions taken, explaining why alternative proposals have been rejected. Such transparency also serves to reduce future legal appeals.

Distribution of powers among policy/regulatory authorities

The institutional setting is one of the key issues to address in the regulatory framework. The responsibilities of different bodies must be clear, avoiding overlap, and giving each institution specific tools to enforce their decisions through sanctions on any infringement of regulations and decisions enacted by the regulatory body. Policy making and application of the regulatory framework usually involve different organisations (Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1. Organisations involved in policy making and regulation for broadband services
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Note: Regulatory agencies may be convergent, covering communications, media/broadcasting and/or competition powers.

Supranational bodies are in charge of co-ordinating specific aspects of broadband access and services, such as spectrum assignment co-ordination (the International Telecommunication Union [ITU]) and trade issues (the World Trade Organization [WTO]). Certain countries, such as the member states of the European Union, have also developed a common regulatory framework and policy co-ordination framework. In the case of the LAC region, the most relevant supranational bodies in the context of broadband access are the ITU, in the context of spectrum management and standardisation, as well as regional bodies as CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Commission), COMTELCA (Comisión Técnica Regional de Telecomunicaciones) in Central America, CARICOM (Caribbean Community) in the Caribbean Area, UNASUR in South America, or the organisms co-ordinating international and regional trade agreements, like the WTO, Mercosur, NAFTA, ALADI or the Pacific Alliance. Chapter 8 in this toolkit addresses in detail issues of regional co-ordination. In general, participation in these supranational bodies is co-ordinated by the corresponding branches of the executive governments.

Telecommunications laws and the framework for regulation are enacted by the legislative body, based on proposals made by the executive government. The legislative body should have also as a mission a general oversight of the performance of the regulatory framework. The executive government and regulators should report regularly to this body, and hearings should also be organised to facilitate monitoring by the legislature, as well as making informed decisions on the evolution of the regulatory framework.

The executive body should be in charge of policy making, defining goals and means for implementing the ICT national strategy, as well as proposing new legislation. In general, design and execution of national broadband plans should also be within the scope of the executive body. These responsibilities should be organised around a specific ministry or department focused on ICT policy making and the design and implementation of national strategies.

The judicial power is responsible for ensuring that stakeholders’ rights are protected, and that regulatory decisions are aligned with laws. The legal system must be designed to avoid the use of the judicial system by stakeholders to evade or delay the application of the law through excessive unjustified litigation. Good practice in this context is to allow regulatory decisions that are challenged in the courts to remain in force until the court reaches a decision. As noted earlier, transparency in the regulatory process and providing for stakeholders to address their concerns on draft regulations can help reduce legal challenges.

Typically, the functions of the regulatory bodies are distributed among several agencies addressing different issues: telecommunications (communications authorities), media/broadcasting services (audio-visual authorities) and antitrust and general aspects of competition (competition authorities). However, as shown in Chapter 7, in many countries, the convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting has prompted a merger of the communications and audio-visual authorities. The intent is to ensure a technologically neutral regulatory framework to address the complete value chain, including content and applications, in a holistic approach. Some countries have also given the communications authority the authority to make ex post as well as ex ante regulation.

Independence of regulatory agencies

In distributing powers between the executive branch (ministerial departments) and regulatory agencies, it is vitally important to establish a clear separation between policy formulation (preparing laws, national ICT strategies and broadband plans, etc.) and the application of the regulatory framework, which is the responsibility of regulatory authorities.

Regulatory agencies should be independent of governments in formulating and applying regulations. Government involvement in regulation can potentially undermine effective regulatory decisions with political considerations. These concerns are heightened by possible conflicts of interest, if the state maintains a stake in operators and decisions are viewed as benefitting those entities relative to other actors. An independent regulator is in general less subjected to short-term political pressure and can focus directly on creating competition.

In general, governments should focus on the main objectives and requirements for the development of broadband services, while regulatory bodies need to establish the regulation necessary to transform the communications market. This is usually dominated by one or more operators, whereas it should become a competitive market open to access by new entrants. In turn, this usually requires that dominant operators are required to provide access to their networks and services. Governments also become a de facto market player when subsidising network deployments. As shown in Chapter 5 in discussing the expansion of broadband access and services, public intervention may be necessary to ensure broadband availability in areas where private initiatives cannot fulfil all public objectives. However, any broadband expansion plan or project involving public funding must take into consideration the potential implications of distorting a market or inhibiting future competition and private investment in that location.

Good practices to ensure the independence of regulatory bodies applied in many OECD countries include:

  • Providing the regulator with a distinct legal mandate, free of ministerial control. Decisions taken by the regulator should not be subject to ministerial approval. In general, the ability to overrule the regulator’s decisions by other actors should be limited to a minimum.

  • Regulatory powers must include all aspects of regulatory oversight and must be clearly defined, to allow for addressing competition issues for telecommunication players and to over-the-top providers (OTTs) when they offer similar services. This includes powers to enforce their decisions independently.

  • Regulators should have their own source of funding that is not controlled by the government. If the budget of the regulatory body depends on an appropriation from the government’s budget, a government may use this discretionary power to control a regulator. A good practice applied in many countries is to impose a levy on the regulated industry, based on a small percentage of its turnover, which is then used to finance the regulatory agency. This provides for a stable source of funding independent of the government, which is more predictable than other alternative sources, such as spectrum fees or fines.

  • To enforce independence from governments, it is a good practice that the legislative body be responsible for appointing heads and members of the board of regulators, or at least, to be able to confirm/reject appointments governments propose. Appointments of members of the board and the head of the regulatory bodies should be conducted through open and transparent procedures. Mandates should not be too short, to avoid instability and increase independence. A usual practice is to mandate periods of around five or six years on a staggered basis, to ensure continuity of the board.

  • Issues such as rules for dismissal, conflicts of interest and provisions regarding joining the regulated sector after the termination of a mandate should be addressed in the law, to ensure independence and increase the credibility of the regulatory body.

Relations among the different policy/regulatory authorities

Ensuring a clear separation of powers between regulatory bodies and policy makers does not mean that institutional actors should act as separate silos. On the contrary, the different institutions should co-operate closely, under clearly established procedures. These procedures must allow for input on key policy making and regulatory decisions, and allow the different actors an advisory role in the areas of their competence when requested by other institutions.

Procedures for articulating key issues on the relationship between different authorities should be defined by law, establishing which type of decisions, draft laws or measures are subject to a consultation process by other bodies, and the context for taking opinions into account. Further details on co-operation among institutions can be established through memoranda of understanding that should also include specific actions and clear procedures for co-operation.

Government institutions in charge of policy making should request an opinion from communications and competition authorities on draft laws, decrees and any other legal instrument where competition and investment in the telecommunication sector is involved. Digital agendas, national broadband plans and any project involving public funding should also be provided to regulatory authorities to obtain their feedback on the implications of the proposals on competition and investment. When key regulatory decisions are to be taken by communications authorities, it is also good practice to ensure that policy makers have an opportunity to provide feedback.

Communication authorities should also allow local administrations to provide input on issues related to telecommunications infrastructure deployment, in areas such as providing and administering rights of way and the funding of specific projects aimed at extending broadband access in municipalities. Local administrations’ input can help incorporate their concerns in setting national regulatory frameworks for regulation of rights of way and providing guidance to local administrations on simplification and standardisation of procedures. This helps avoid multiple complex local regulations and encourage network deployment by operators (see Chapter 4 on competition and infrastructure bottlenecks).

Communication and competition authorities must have a fluid and continuous relationship, because competition issues are addressed both by ex ante regulation (the focus of communications authorities) and ex post regulation (the focus of competition authorities). Inconsistencies may lead to regulatory uncertainty. The key areas where communication and competition authorities should co-ordinate include:

  • Merger and acquisitions analysis and its implications for preserving competition. Assessment of the potential effects of mergers in the telecommunications sector is complex and can benefit from input by experts in market analysis in the communications authorities.

  • Market analysis and imposition of specific ex ante regulation. This is typically the task of the communications authority, and input from competition authorities is also valuable to co-ordinate ex ante and ex post regulation and avoid inconsistencies in regulatory decisions.

  • Antitrust regulation. This usually has a general focus, however, there are certain issues on collusion practices in the communications sector where the competition authority may rely on expert advice from the communications authorities. The regulatory framework should allow for collaboration among institutions, upon request of the institution entrusted with the corresponding area of competence.

As described earlier, in some cases, a single regulatory body may have the competence for ex ante and ex post regulation. This is the case for communications authorities with authority over ex post competition issues in the telecommunications sector, such as CNMC in Spain, or Ofcom in the United Kingdom.

Concurrent ex ante and ex post powers allow for easier co-ordination, and in this case, co-ordination procedures can be kept internal to the regulatory body. Terms for co-ordination between units in the organisation must nevertheless be defined. Combining ex ante and ex post powers for telecommunications services in a single organisation allows for close co-operation of experts, with the goal of reaching consistent regulatory approaches and measures. However, it is important to ensure that decisions on competition focused on ex post regulation are aligned with the application of ex post regulations by other regulatory bodies.

Judicial review of regulatory decisions

Regulatory decisions should be subject to judicial review and may on occasion require review on substance in a limited number of specific areas. However, appeals may lead to a suspension of regulatory action and freeze or delay regulatory decisions, undermining the legal certainty vitally important in a regulated market. Legal processes are usually lengthy and expensive, used by telecommunications operators, especially incumbents, as a way to delay, prevent or undermine regulatory decisions. Suspending regulatory decisions can result in significant financial losses to new entrants, hindering competition and facilitating the entrenchment of dominant positions.

If needed, reform of legal processes must be considered to allow a regulator’s decision to stand until the court has ruled on the complaint if a market player goes to court. This reduces the number of frivolous complaints. Although countries still provide for injunctions, the burden of proof should be on the plaintiff to show that suspension is necessary to avoid damage, or is needed to avoid an irreversible situation.

It is also good practice to set up special judicial panels to hear court appeals on telecommunications issues where the judges are familiar with the telecommunications sector, or to create a specialised court that can deal with appeals in this sector, as Mexico has. This allows for better judicial decisions in an area that demands specialised knowledge. Regulatory bodies can also organise seminars, workshops and courses for the judicial power, to make sure that the judicial powers make well-informed decisions.

The functioning and structure of the regulator

Regulators should be structured taking into account their areas of competence, establishing well- defined processes for each of the issues to be addressed, such as regular market analysis, dispute resolution, etc. These processes should provide clearly defined deadlines for each process. These procedures should also ensure transparency and for stakeholders to provide their feedback on decisions under consideration. A right of appeal for stakeholders affected by decisions should also be considered.

Regulators should define and measure key performance indicators on the main issues to be addressed, including inputs (e.g. number of disputes filed and claims received), processes (e.g. time to perform market analysis), outputs (e.g. number of decisions taken) and outcomes of the regulator (e.g. evolution of concentration for each market). A reference for the definition of these performance indicators can be found in the OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy (OECD, 2014a). A specific practical case of its application in the case of communications regulators is the OECD review conducted for Colombia’s Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) (OECD, 2014b).

Most issues examined by the regulator require the collection of data from operators. It is important that the regulator have the power to request necessary data from operators, set a time limit to receive the data requested and if necessary, fine operators if data are not forthcoming. The regulator must establish effective procedures to ensure confidentiality for data needed for regulatory decisions that is sensitive and should not be disclosed to third parties.

Staffing is often a challenge for national regulators in the LAC area. The lack of human resources can slow the reform process, reduce the quality of decision making and may create regulatory uncertainty. Experts in the regulatory authority must have relevant experience in the telecommunication sector and in their area of work. Adequate incentives must be established to attract and retain well-qualified staff, and if needed, exemption from civil service employment and salary rules may be considered to engage professionals at rates competitive with the private sector.

Communications regulators are usually organised around several units specialised in different areas of competence or fields of expertise. There is no single model for structuring the different areas of competence, but it is important to ensure that there is a fluid communication and collaboration between them. For illustrative purposes, a typical distribution of units that can be found in many of the regulators in the LAC and the OECD area is included (Figure 2.2). Depending on powers assigned to the regulator, there may be additional units, or they can be organised in a different way.

Figure 2.2. Structure of the regulator
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A market analysis unit is usually in charge of evaluating telecommunications markets to identify competition problems, especially those associated with positions of dominance and interconnection issues. If any are identified, the unit determines which regulatory measures should be applied. Mergers and acquisitions appraisal (or collaboration with the competition authority) in the sector is also the responsibility of this unit. It also governs cost accounting, given that some regulatory measures include price regulation. The unit collaborates with other units where economic analysis is needed, and experts in this area should have a strong background in economics and competition law.

A technical unit focuses on the engineering aspects of regulatory measures, such as the procedures and standards used by operators when interconnecting, technical details of reference offers and number portability. A technical unit is usually also responsible for management of scarce resources, including spectrum and numbering. Telecommunications engineers and other experts with relevant experience in the sector are needed. A legal unit usually co-ordinates dispute resolutions, infringement procedures and in general, legal advice for other units, in order to ensure that decisions are consistent with the regulatory framework, minimising judicial overturn of decisions by the regulator.

If the communications authority also has consumer protection responsibilities, it is advisable to configure a unit to address all consumer protection issues that involve specific aspects, tools and methodologies (see Chapter 13). Collaboration with other units is usually required to ensure consistency of consumer protection policies with other objectives, such as encouraging competition and investment.

Data collection, statistical analysis and production of reports, as discussed in the final section of this chapter, is an important area of work for the communications authority. Data collection and statistical analysis is complex and resource-consuming and requires experts on econometrics, and in general, statistical analysis. Apart from other tasks, such as production of regular reports on the evolution of the sector, this unit has a key role in supporting other units (IDB, 2015).

Apart from the types of units common in many organisations with similar responsibilities (e.g. external communications and human resources), the telecommunications industry requires close international co-operation. International activities are especially relevant, as most regulatory policies benefit from close collaboration and benchmarking with regulators in other countries, as well as international organisations in the area. The online ICT regulatory toolkit1 prepared by the ITU provides more detailed information, practical material and advice for the organisation of regulators.

The head and the members of the Regulator’s Board

There is widespread agreement among competition experts that the head and the members of the board of the competition and communication authorities should be independent of the government, to avoid political interference and ensure that decisions are not dependent on the prevailing political situation. No direct participation of government departments should be allowed on the regulator’s board, which should be able to make decisions independently.

The head and commissioners of these regulatory bodies should not be subject to discretionary appointment and dismissal by the government, and appointments should be for a fixed term that is long enough to ensure their independence (five or six years is often the norm). These appointments should be involve open and transparent procedures, such as by establishing a shortlist of qualified candidates from which the appointing authority can select. The appointment process should observe high standards of transparency, through open procedures and clear qualification and evaluation criteria. An evaluation committee should be established and tasked with assembling a list of qualified candidates, according to established criteria.

The Regulator’s Board is in charge of discussing and adopting regulatory decisions. It is advisable to have staggered appointments for commissioners, to ensure continuity and avoid the replacement of multiple commissioners at the same time. The legal framework should provide legal protection for the head of the regulator and commissioners when acting on behalf of the regulator, limiting their personal liability, to avoid the filing of criminal charges and administrative complaints against them as a means of putting pressure on them and creating time-consuming disruptions.

Data collection and reporting

Successful implementation of policy and regulatory measures require an ability to respond to the complexity of the economy and assess their effects on public policy making. In the OECD this is called “evidence-based” policies, which depend on collecting the data needed to inform policies.

This section discusses a series of issues: why the collection of data by regulators is important for broadband policy-making; what mandate the regulatory framework should provide; which data should typically be collected; what reporting should be produced; and finally, which issues to take into account when collecting relevant data. A discussion on measurement and indicators on specific themes covered by this Toolkit (such as competition, e-education and e-health) is addressed in the section “Tools for measurement and analysis in the LAC region” of each chapter. Data collection issues discussed here refer to the assessment of broadband policy objectives and should not be confused with the tracking of internal management indicators.

There are many reasons to collect data on the market and to produce reports. First and foremost, the collection and analysis of data is crucial to make informed policy and regulatory decisions. That means collecting solid statistical data and indicators, which can guide regulatory action. Collecting and reporting on statistical evidence is also key for providing information on those policies or regulatory measures, to assess their effects and, if necessary, adjust them.

In OECD countries, many central government departments and independent regulators undertake assessments to provide cost-benefit analysis of policy proposals and evaluate the functioning of the market and the effectiveness and efficiency of regulation.2 This approach has, to a large extent, been stimulated by treasuries and finance ministers concerned with the value for money of public expenditures. At the same time, a more informed public with increased access to news and data sources has put pressure on policy makers to provide clear and reliable evidence on which to base their decisions.

Data collection is useful not only to compare indicators over time within a country, but to benchmark domestic performance against peer countries. Regular benchmarking with similar or neighbouring countries is an additional tool for identifying gaps or good practices. Peer comparison has become an essential instrument for improving public sector performance in many countries of the OECD.

Another dimension of data collection and reporting is its value for the private sector. Regular publication of key performance indicators (e.g. level of investment, revenues, infrastructure availability and quality of service) can be useful for market players such as telecommunications operators or potential investors, as it helps reduce information asymmetries, increase transparency, level the playing field and increase predictability.

Finally, by routinely collecting information on internationally agreed indicators, policy makers and regulators provide data that can be used by international observatories and international organisations such as ITU, IDB and OECD. These observatories are important for benchmarking and for informing policy analysis. In the LAC region, digiLAC, an IDB initiative, measures broadband policies and development in the LAC area by comparing countries according to the Broadband Development Index (Box 2.2).

Box 2.2. digiLAC Broadband Development Index

The digiLAC

The Broadband Development Index brings together 37 indicators, each with a score ranging from one (least developed) to eight (most developed), to produce the overall index. The indicators are chosen on the basis of four pillars: public policy and strategic vision, strategic regulation, infrastructure, and applications and knowledge.

picture

Source: http://dataset.iadb.org/es/digilac.

The OECD’s broadband portal is another example, which provides a range of comparative broadbaand data enabling performance benchmarking and other information (Box 2.3).

Box 2.3. OECD Broadband Portal

The OECD broadband portal provides access to a range of broadband-related statistics gathered by the OECD. The portal is frequently updated with data supplied by OECD member countries and key partners and provided for verification before its publication.

picture

Source: www.oecd.org/sti/broadband/oecdbroadbandportal.htm.

Another relevant issue is to decide on the type of information to be collected. To inform broadband policies, regulatory authorities and ministries require a wide array of data to be collected, analysed and reported. Usually, telecommunications indicators cover the supply-side (or the infrastructure side), demand-side, prices and the quality-of-services aspects of telecommunications services. These indicators should be relevant, accurate, coherent, timely, based on a clear methodology, preferably using internationally comparable standards, and regularly reviewed in light of technological developments:

  • Supply side: for both fixed and mobile technologies, as well as at the retail and wholesale levels, data should be collected on the number of lines, number of subscriptions, population and geographical coverage, number of customers (market shares), financial information (revenue and investment) and ownership structure of service providers. From this core data, other indicators can be calculated, such as ratios (broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, per households, by speed tiers, etc.). Revenue is often presented per telecommunication access path or by broadband subscription, which provides an indicator of relative revenue levels.

  • Demand side: Demand-side data are used to measure the effective usage and adoption of broadband by households, individuals and businesses and are usually collected using surveys. These cover issues ranging from duration and type of broadband usage to detailed aspects of the exact usage of broadband (such as platform used and location of use) and particular usage to access advanced services and applications, like e-health, education services, e-government, transport, energy and finance.

  • Prices: Prices are one of the most reliable indicators for monitoring the effects of competition on consumers and market performance. Data on prices of wholesale and retail services, both stand-alone and bundled, are vital information for regulators. Regulators may use basket methodologies to analyse retail offers, where different user profiles are compared, in order to represent a larger variety of types of users in a market. Wholesale prices can be collected, as needed, from requests for data of the commercial agreements of operators.

  • Quality of service (QoS): QoS data collection should feed performance indicators measuring advertised and effective broadband speeds, latency, consumers’ complaints and incidents. On speeds and latency, for example, direct measurements on the network can be carried out by the regulator, or by using third parties that provide independent data, such as Akamai, Ookla or M-Lab. Regulators should also be aware that different services require distinct QoS statistics. Services provided to enterprises, for example, usually have QoS reporting requirements contained within contracts, and would initially not require monitoring of QoS, differently from services offered directly to consumers. In terms of consumer satisfaction, qualitative data can also be collected via targeted surveys.

The OECD Guide to Measuring the Information Society provides a standard reference for statisticians, analysts and policy makers in the field of ICT, to define and implement key performance indicators in this area (OECD, 2014c). It is crucial that all stakeholders are involved in the design and collection of these indicators.

Publication and dissemination of data is a key issue. The regular publication of reports and press releases facilitates the circulation of information, alerting stakeholders and experts to new trends arising from the data collected. Regulators should produce an annual report of KPIs and other relevant indicators to illustrate the evolution of the wholesale and retail markets, such as the ones highlighted above, as well as to provide regular updates through press releases of monthly or quarterly available data. Moreover, ministries or regulators may wish to produce thematic reports showing the evolution of specific services, trends or regional differences.

To reduce the burden of data collection on operators, co-ordination among institutions to avoid duplication of data requests is crucial. Despite data collection’s importance in evidence-based policy making, government institutions should take care to not overload operators, analysing which information is necessary and sending questionnaires on a regular basis to allow stakeholders to plan ahead. In addition to recurrent requests, specific data needed for decision-making processes should be tailored case by case.

Finally, it is crucial that operators and consumers trust regulators to keep the confidential data collected from being publicised or used in an inappropriate or unauthorised manner. Depending on the size and structure of the sample collected, raw data can sometimes be aggregated or masked in a way that protects confidentiality and yet produces useful information for analysis. But if operators are not convinced the information provided will be protected, the quality of the information provided will suffer. Regulators should be committed to safeguarding information that identifies the operations, or individual characteristics of respondents, either operators or consumers.3

Conclusion

This chapter sets out good practices for developing effective digital strategies and sound regulatory frameworks. First, designing digital strategies requires co-ordination of a range of public institutions to identify realistic targets and ensure that processes are in place to monitor their progress. This requires designating a co-ordinating body and establishing a mechanism for decision-making in areas where the competencies of different government bodies overlap. Clearly defining responsibilities, and providing public institutions the necessary authority is a key to ensuring success. Establishing an effective oversight mechanism for digital strategies is also important, to ensure successful implementation, assess fulfilment of goals, improve planning, and help policy makers in decisions. Steering groups that involve different types of stakeholders and benchmarking exercises can also smooth implementation.

This chapter also notes the importance of establishing telecommunications regulatory frameworks that are stable, predictable, technologically neutral and based on a forward-looking approach, with a horizon of two or three years. Moreover, the distribution of responsibilities and powers between the executive branch (ministerial departments) and regulatory agencies should establish a clear separation between policy formulation and application of the regulatory framework. It is crucial that regulatory agencies be independent of governments in formulating and applying regulations. This can avoid conflicts between effective regulatory decisions designed to encourage competition and investment, and short-term political pressures. It is also important that judicial review does not undermine the timeliness and legal certainty of regulatory decisions.

Regulators should thus be given a distinct legal mandate, with adequate authority, and have a stable and independent source of funding that is not controlled by the government. Members of the board should be nominated in an open, transparent and merit-based process. The head and the members of the regulatory board should be independent of the government and their mandates should have appropriate, stable timeframes.

Different policy/regulatory authorities should maintain close co-operation based on well-defined procedures that enable fluid communication. Converging ex ante and ex post powers within the same institution allow for easier co-ordination, as procedures are kept internal, but defining terms for co-ordination between the different units is advised.

Finally, it is crucial that the regulators have the power to request necessary data from all actors in regulated markets, set time limits for responses and, if necessary, fine actors if the request is not fulfilled. Collecting solid statistical data and consolidating indicators, while ensuring confidentiality of sensible data and producing reports, is key to making informed policy and regulatory decisions. It is also important for informing market agents, increasing transparency, reducing information asymmetries, levelling the playing field and increasing predictability of the regulated sectors. Indicators should be relevant, accurate, coherent, timely, based on a clear methodology, preferably using internationally comparable standards, and regularly reviewed in light of technological developments.

References

IDB (2015), Recolección, procesamiento y publicación de información estadística para el sector de las telecomunicaciones, (Collection, Processing and Publication of Statistical Information for the Telecommunications Sector), Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, https://publications.iadb.org/bitstream/handle/11319/7282/CMF%20DP%20Colecci%C3%B3n_procesamiento_y_publicaci%C3%B3n_de%20_informaci%C3%B3n_estad%C3%ADstica.pdf?sequence=1.

OECD (2015), Digital Economy Outlook, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264232440-en.

OECD (2014a), The Governance of Regulators, OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264209015-en.

OECD (2014b), OECD Review of Telecommunication Policy and Regulation in Colombia, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264208131-en.

OECD (2014c), Measuring the Digital Economy, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264221796-en.

OECD (2012), OECD Review of Telecommunication Policy and Regulation in Mexico, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264060111-en.

OECD (2010), Good Governance for Digital Policies: How to Get the Most Out of ICT: The Case of Spain’s Plan Avanza, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264031104-en.

Further reading

CEPAL (2013), Estrategías de TIC ante el desafío del cambio estructural en América Latina y el Caribe, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, http://hdl.handle.net/11362/4063.

CEPAL (2010), Compendio de prácticas sobre implementación de preguntas de TIC en encuestas de hogares y empresas: revisión 2010, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, http://hdl.handle.net/11362/3782.

Cordova-Novion, C. and S. Jacobzone (2011), “Strengthening the Institutional Setting for Regulatory Reform: The Experience from OECD Countries”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 19, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgglrpvcpth-en.

Hernandéz, I. and Calcagno, S. (2003), Indigenous People and the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean: A framework for action, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/etext/llilas/claspo/workingpapers/indigpeople.pdf.

IDB (2014), Methodology for the Broadband Development Index (IDBA) for Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Development Bank, New York, www.19.iadb.org/intal/intalcdi/PE/2014/13417.pdf.

Marcus, J. Scott and Juan Rendón (2010), “Drivers and Effects of the Size and Composition of Telecoms Regulatory Agencies”, Social Science Research Network Electronic Journal, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1675705.

OECD (2015), Driving Performance at Colombia’s Communications Regulator, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264232945-en.

OECD (2015), OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264234291-en.

OECD (2014), Regulatory Enforcement and Inspections, OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264208117-en.

OECD (2011), OECD Guide to Measuring the Information Society 2011, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264113541-en.

OECD (2006), “Telecommunication Regulatory Institutional Structures and Responsibilities”, OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 105, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/231741271464.

OECD (2001), Citizens as Partners: OECD Handbook on Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264195578-en.

ANNEX 2.A1. Regulatory frameworks in the LAC region

Telecommunications regulatory frameworks for the countries in the LAC region

Argentina

Ley de Telecomunicaciones. Ley Argentina Digital (2014), modified by decree 267/2015 (Creation of Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM)

www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/235000-239999/239771/norma.htm

www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/#!DetalleNorma/139608/20160105

Bahamas

The Communications Act 2009 and Communications Amendment Act 2011

www.urcabahamas.bs/download/088554800.pdf and www.urcabahamas.bs/download/034593300.pdf

Barbados

The Telecommunications Act CAP282B (2011)

www.telecoms.gov.bb/website/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35&Itemid=138

Belize

Belize Telecommunications Act CAF229 N° 16, (2002)

www.belizelaw.org/web/lawadmin/PDF%20files/cap229s.pdf

Bolivia

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones, Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación, N° 164 (2011)

www.nci.tv/archivos/ley_164___ley_general_de_telecomunicaciones_tecnologias_de_informacin_y_comunicacion.pdf

Brazil

Lei Geral de Telecomunicações N°9.472 (1997)

www.planalto.gov.br/CCIVIL_03/leis/L9472.htm

Chile

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones N° 18.168 (1982)

www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=29591

Colombia

Ley para las Tecnologías de la información y las Comunicaciones TIC N° 1341 (2009)

www.mintic.gov.co/portal/604/articles-3707_documento.pdf

Costa Rica

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones N° 8642 (2008)

http://sutel.go.cr/sites/default/files/normativas/ley_general_de_telecomunicaciones.pdf

Dominican Republic

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones N°153-98 (1998)

www.indotel.gob.do/index.php/uploads/123/Ley_153_98_Telecomunicaciones-pdf

Ecuador

Ley Especial de Telecomunicaciones N°. 184 (1992)

www.palermo.edu/cele/pdf/Regulaciones/EcuadorLeyEspecialdeTelecomunicaciones%281992%29.pdf

El Salvador

Ley de Telecomunicaciones (1997)

www.siget.gob.sv/attachments/1447_Ley%20de%20Telecomunicaciones%20%28actualizada%20nov.10%29.pdf

Guatemala

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones (1996)

www.sit.gob.gt/attachments/article/75/Ley_General_de_Telecomunicaciones_SIT.pdf

Guyana

Telecommunications Act (1990)

http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/tasf/unpan024410.pdf

Haiti

Loi Telecom (1977)

http://conatel.gouv.ht/pdf/loitelecom.pdf

Honduras

Ley Marco del Sector de Telecomunicaciones (1995), updated in 2011 and 2013

www.conatel.gob.hn/doc/Regulacion/leyes/LEY_MARCO_DEL_SECTORDETELEC.pdf

www.conatel.gob.hn/doc/Regulacion/leyes/DECRETO_LEGISLATIVO_112-2011.pdf

www.conatel.gob.hn/doc/Regulacion/leyes/Decreto%20325-2013%20Reforma%20a%20la%20Ley%20Marco%20del%20Sector%20de%20Telecomunicaciones.pdf

Jamaica

The Telecommunications Act (2000)

www.our.org.jm/ourweb/sites/default/files/documents/sector_documents/telecommunications_act2.pdf

Mexico

Reforma Constitucional en Materia de Telecomunicaciones (2013)

www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5301941&fecha=11/06/2013

Ley Federal de Telecomunicaciones y Radiodifusión (2014)

www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5352323&fecha=14/07/2014

www.sct.gob.mx/fileadmin/Comunicaciones/LFTR_english.pdf

Nicaragua

Ley General de Telecomunicaciones y Servicios Postales N° 200 (1995)

www.telcor.gob.ni/MarcoLegal.asp?Accion=VerRecurso&REC_ID=178

Panama

Ley que regula las telecomunicaciones N° 31 (1996)

www.asep.gob.pa/leyes_decretos/ley31.asp

Paraguay

Ley de telecomunicaciones Nº 642/95 (1995)

http://www.conatel.gov.py/images/iprincipal/LEY%20642/Ley_N_642-95.pdf

Peru

Ley de telecomunicaciones Nº 26096 (1993)

http://transparencia.mtc.gob.pe/idm_docs/normas_legales/1_0_892.pdf

Suriname

Telecommunications Act, No.151 (2004)

www.tas.sr/images/pdf/eng/01.pdf

Trinidad and Tobago

Telecommunications Act (2001)

www.sice.oas.org/investment/NatLeg/TTO/Telecom_e.pdf

Uruguay

There is no general telecommunications law, relevant legislation includes the law Nº 17.296 and the decree 212/001, establishing URSEC and its functions (2001)

www.miem.gub.uy/documents/10180/0/Ley%20N%C2%BA%2017.296%20-%20Vinculaci%C3%B3n%20con%20la%20Unidad%20Reguladora%20de%20Servicios%20de%20Comunicaciones?version=1.2&t=1360343547000

ANNEX 2.A2. National digital Strategies

Country

National digital strategies

Barbados

National Information and Communication Technologies Strategic Plan (www.redgealc.net/new-document-barbados-ict-strategic-plan/content/4988/en/) (2010-15)

Objective: Provide the policy framework for the advancement and promotion of Barbados as an e-country. ICT skills for the society, use of ICTs to encourage and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, ICT access to all Barbadians, e-government, e-business; continuity of governance in national disasters.

Managed by: MTIC.

Belize

ICT National Strategy (http://redgealc.org/download.php?len=es&id=5006&nbre=belize11_16.pdf&ti=application/pdf&tc=Contenidosv) (2011-16)

Objective: open ICT, ICT in education, and ICT for e-commerce, e-inclusion, job creation and accelerating e-government.

Managed by: MESTPU.

Chile

Agenda Digital Imagina Chile (www.mtt.gob.cl/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/agenda_digital.pdf) (2013-20)

Objective: Creation of a knowledge economy, expansion of technologies among the population, and that by 2020, the 10% of the Chilean GDP is derived from ICT.

Managed by: Sub-secretary for Telecommunications.

Colombia

Plan Vive Digital (http://micrositios.mintic.gov.co/vivedigital/2014-2018/) (2014-18)

Objective: Promote the digital ecosystem and its axis: applications, users, infrastructure and services, including the relevant issues for their demand and supply.

Managed by: MinTIC.

Costa Rica

[email protected] (www.crdigital.go.cr/) (2015-21)

Objective: Framework for policies concerning public and private actors (PNDT) and set of comprehensive actions on connecting communities, homes, educational and health centres.

Managed by: Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Vice Ministry of Science and Technology (MICITT).

Dominican Republic

Digital Agenda of Dominican Republic (www.cnsic.org.do/images/docs/Agenda/Versi%C3%B3n%20Preliminar%20Agenda%20Digital%20R%20D%20%202016-2020.pdf) (2016-20)

Objective: Strategic plan for Information and Communication Technologies to enable social development and economic development.

Managed by: CNSIC, INDOTEL.

Ecuador

Estrategía Ecuador Digital 2.0 (www.telecomunicaciones.gob.ec/programas-y-servicios) (2012-17)

Objective: Reduce the digital divide, promoting access to the Internet. For 2017, the goal is to have 45 000 kilometres of optical fibre. Different plans and programmes.

Managed by: MINTEL.

Honduras

Agenda Digital Honduras (http://agendadigital.hn/ and http://agendadigital.hn/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/AgendadigitalCOR.pdf) (2014-18)

Objective: The national strategy has four axes: increasing Internet access and infrastructure; digital government strategies; promote ICT training; and the legislative and institutional frame for ICT.

Managed by: SEPLAN.

Mexico

Estrategia Digital Nacional (www.presidencia.gob.mx/edn/)(2013-18)

Objective: Build a digital Mexico in which technology and innovation to help achieve reach Mexico’s development goals.

Managed by: Digital National Strategy Co-ordination.

Panama

The National ICT plan is included in Broadband National Strategy (www.innovacion.gob.pa/descargas/PlanEstrategicoBandaAncha.pdf) (2008-18)

Objective: The ICT includes five axes: The citizen, the government, education, health and enterprises. The ICT plan is a series of initiatives to develop through the strategic plan.

Managed by: SENACYT, CAPATEC.

Peru

Agenda Digital Peruana 2.0 (www.codesi.gob.pe/agenda_digital/codesi_agenda_digital.php) (2011-15)

Objective: Inclusive access to ITC by the population, promote scientific research, increase productivity and competitiveness in ITC, develop the national ICT industry, and promote ICT usage in public administration.

Managed by: CODESI.

Uruguay

Agenda Digital Uruguay ADU (www.agesic.gub.uy/innovaportal/v/1443/1/agesic/mapa_de_ruta:_agenda_digital_uruguay_2011-2015.html?menuderecho=11) (2011-15)

Objective: The strategic lines contribute to the general objective of constructing an information society focused on development, in which everyone is able to use and share information and knowledge. The strategic lines include social inclusion, citizens’ participation, state transformation and promotion of education.

Managed by: AGESIC.

ANNEX 2.A3. Policy/regulatory bodies in the LAC region

Country

Ministry of telecommunications

Communications authority

Competition authority

Broadcasting authority

Consumer protection

Argentina

Ministerio de Comunicaciones ( MinCom)

Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones ( ENACOM)

Comisión Nacional para la Defensa de la Competencia ( CNDC)

Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones ( ENACOM)

Subsecretaría de defensa del consumidor ( SDC)

Bahamas

Minister with responsibility for the Electronic Communications Sector ( ECS), currently the Prime Minister ( Office of the Prime Minister)

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority ( URCA)

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority ( URCA)

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority ( URCA)

Consumer Affairs Office

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority ( URCA)

Barbados

Telecommunications Unit ( TU)

Telecommunications Unit ( TU)

Fair Trading Commission ( FTC)

Barbados Broadcasting Authority ( BBA)

Fair Trading Commission ( FTC)

Belize

Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities ( MESTPU)

Public Utilities Commission ( PUC)

In the process of establishing such an authority

Belize Broadcasting Authority ( BBA)

Public Utilities Commission ( PUC)

Bolivia

Viceministerio de Telecomunicaciones ( VT)

Autoridad de Regulación y Fiscalización de Telecomunicaciones y Transporte ( ATT)

Autoridad de Regulación y Fiscalización de Telecomunicaciones y Transporte ( ATT)

Autoridad de Regulación y Fiscalización de Telecomunicaciones y Transporte ( ATT)

Autoridad de Regulación y Fiscalización de Telecomunicaciones y Transporte ( ATT)

Brazil

Ministério das Comunicações ( MC)

Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações ( ANATEL)

Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica ( CADE)

Agência Nacional do Cinema ( ANCINE)

Secretaria Nacional do Consumidor ( SENACON)

Chile

Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones ( MTC)

Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones ( SUBTEL)

Tribunal de la Defensa de la Libre Competencia ( TDLC) Fiscalía Nacional Económica ( FNE)

Consejo Nacional de Televisión ( CNTV)

Ministerio de Economía Fomento y Turismo ( SERNAC)

Colombia

Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones ( MinTIC)

Comisión de Regulación de Comunicaciones ( CRC)

Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio ( SIC)

Autoridad Nacional de Televisión ( ANTV)

Comisión de Regulación de Comunicaciones ( CRC) Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio ( SIC)

Costa Rica

Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones ( MICIT)

Super Intendencia de Telecomunicaciones ( SUTEL)

Comisión para Promover la Competencia ( COPROCOM) and Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones ( SUTEL)

Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones ( MICIT)

Comisión Nacional del Consumidor ( CNC)

Dominican Republic

Comisión Naciona para la Sociedad de la Información y el Conocimiento ( CNSIC)

Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones ( INDOTEL)

Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia ( Pro-Competencia)

Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones ( INDOTEL)

Instituto Nacional de Protección de los Derechos del Consumidor ( PRO CONSUMIDOR)

Ecuador

Ministerio de Telecomunicaciones y Sociedad de la Información ( MINTEL)

Agencia de Regulación y Control de las Telecomunicaciones ( ARCOTEL)

Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones del Ecuador ( SUPERTEL)

Agencia de Regulación y Control de las Telecomunicaciones ( ARCOTEL)

Ministerio de Industrias y Productividad ( MIPRO)

El Salvador

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología Viceministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología ( NCONACYT)

Superintendencia General de Electricidad y Telecomunicaciones ( SIGET)

Superintendencia de Competencia ( SC)

Ministerio de Gobernación

Defensoría del Consumidor ( DC)

Guatemala

Ministerio de Comunicaciones, Infraestructura y Vivienda ( CIV)

Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones ( SIT)

Ministerio de Economía ( ME)

Dirección General de Radiodifusión y Televisión Nacional ( TWG)

Dirección de Atención y Asistencia al Consumidor ( DIACO)

Guyana

Ministry of the President. ( MOTP)

Public Utilities Commission ( PUC)

Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission of Guyana ( CCAC)

Guyana National Broadcast Authority ( GNBA)

Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission ( CCAC)

Haiti

Ministère des Travaux Publics, Transports et Communications ( MTPTC)

Conseil National des Télécommunications ( CONATEL)

Conseil National des Télécommunications ( CONATEL)

Ministère de la Culture – Ministère de la Communication ( MCU-MCO)

Conseil National des Télécommunications ( CONATEL)

Honduras

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones ( CONATEL)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones ( CONATEL)

Comisión para la Defensa y la Promoción de la Competencia ( CDPC)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones ( CONATEL)

Secretaría de Industria y Comercio( SIC)

Jamaica

Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining ( MSTEM)

Office of Utilities Regulation ( OUR)

Fair Trading Commission ( FTC)

Broadcasting Commission ( BC)

Consumer Affairs Commission ( CAC)

Mexico

Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes ( SCT)

Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones ( IFT)

Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica ( COFECE)

Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones ( IFT)

Secretaría de Gobernación ( SEGOB),

Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones ( IFT)

Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor ( PROFECO),

Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones ( IFT)

Nicaragua

Instituto Nicaragüense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos ( TELCOR)

Instituto Nicaragüense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos ( TELCOR)

Instituto Nacional de Promoción de la Competencia ( PROCOMPETENCIA)

Instituto Nicaragüense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos ( TELCOR)

Instituto Nacional de Defensa del Consumidor ( INDEC)

Panama

Autoridad Nacional para la Innovación Gubernamental ( AIG)

Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos ( ASEP)

Autoridad de Protección al Consumidor y defensa de la Competencia ( ACODECO)

Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos ( ASEP)

Autoridad de Protección al Consumidor y defensa de la Competencia ( ACODECO)

Paraguay

Secretaría Nacional de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación ( SENATIC)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones ( CONATEL)

Comisión Nacional de la Competencia ( CONACOM)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones ( CONATEL)

Secretaría de Defensa del Consumidor y el Usuario ( SEDECO)

Peru

Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones ( MTC)

Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones ( OSPITEL)

Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones ( OSPITEL)

Instituto Nacional de Radio y Televisión de Perú ( IRTP)

Tribunal Administrativo de Solución de Reclamos de Usuarios ( TRASU)

Suriname

Ministry of Transport Communication and Tourism ( MINTCT)

Telecommunicatie Autoriteit Suriname ( TAS)

x

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Trade and Industry ( MTI)

Trinidad and Tobago

Ministry of Science and Technology ( MST)

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago ( TATT)

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago ( TATT)

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago ( TATT)

Consumer Affairs Division ( CAD)

Uruguay

Dirección Nacional de Telecomunicaciones y Servicios de Comunicación Audiovisual ( DINATEL)

Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones ( URSEC)

Comisión de Promoción y Defensa de la Competencia ( CPDC)

Consejo de Comunicación audiovisual1

Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones ( URSEC)

Agencia de Gobierno Electrónico y Sociedad de la Información y del Conocimiento ( AGESIC)

Comisión de Promoción y Defensa de la Competencia ( CPDC)

Venezuela

Ministerio del poder popular para la comunicación y la información ( MINCI)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones de Venezuela ( CONATEL)

Superintendencia antimonopolio ( SAM)

Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones de Venezuela ( CONATEL)

Superintendencia de Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconomicos ( INDEPABI)

Note: x = not applicable.

1. According to the Law no. 19.307 of 29 December 2014, an Audiovisual Communications Council is to be created in Uruguay to deal with Broadcasting issues and meanwhile traditional broadcasting issues will be treated by the Ministério de Educación y Cultura (MEC) and emerging issues by the Institución Nacional de Derecho Humanos y Defensoría del Pueblo.

ANNEX 2.A4. Distribution of powers among policy/regulatory bodies in the region
Table 2.A4.1. Standardisation, spectrum management, numbering, IT
picture
Table 2.A4.2. Licenses, interconnection regime, market/competition analysis), price regulation, quality of service
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Table 2.A4.3. Design and implementation of National Broadband Plans, universal access/service funding, universal access/service obligations
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Notes: The grey cells represent either Ministries or their directly subordinate entities, while the blue or white cells represent regulatory authorities. x = not applicable.

Notes

← 1. See www.ictregulationtoolkit.org.

← 2. The UK Treasury’s “Green Book” provides consistent guidance to public bodies on the methodology for cost benefit analysis and impact assessments. Available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-green-book-appraisal-and-evaluation-incentral-governent.

← 3. The protection of confidentiality is one of the fundamental principles of a national statistical agency (see http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/statorg/).