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Spotlight: The ICT regulatory agendas of Colombia and the Dominican Republic

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Spotlight: The ICT regulatory agendas of Colombia and the Dominican Republic

Colombia’s telecoms regulator CRC and the Dominican Republic’s watchdog Indotel have published their plans for 2022.

A public consultation on the Indotel plan is open until January 14, while the CRC’s was published on Monday and results from a consultation process that began in November.

Both entities aim to promote competition and increase regulatory efficiency.

They also deem a regulatory sandbox to promote innovation crucial. The CRC implemented such a sandbox this year and will continue it in 2022, while Indotel plans a similar mechanism for next year.

COLOMBIA

The CRC’s 30 initiatives rest on the strategic pillars of users’ wellbeing and rights, markets and competition, innovation and regulatory improvement, management of value groups, and institutional strength.

One highlight will be the publication of a regulatory proposal on the review of telecommunications quality methodologies, after the application of the regulatory impact methodology carried out in 2021. The proposal will be put to public consultation, aiming to have a definitive regulation by the second quarter of 2022.

“The [regulator] hopes to achieve a positive impact on the levels of quality and satisfaction of users with the services provided by communication service providers, effectively monitor the status of quality and strengthen the tools for the development of the function, inspection, monitoring and control of quality requirements by the competent authorities,” the plan said.

The result of the review of network access, use and interconnection is also expected for 1Q22. Initially expected for the end of 2021, the review’s complexity forced a delay.

One of the most anticipated initiatives is the infrastructure sharing proposal, also expected for the first quarter. A final decision is expected for the third quarter.

The project includes the possibility of creating an information system that centralizes the national infrastructure, aiming to reduce barriers network and service providers face.

In the same vein, the regulator proposes to keep the favorability index for infrastructure deployment up to date and reach 55% of the country's accredited municipalities without barriers to deployment by 2022.

In addition, in compliance with the law declaring telecommunications essential services, the CRC must publish next year a regulatory proposal to promote infrastructure deployment in remote areas.

CRC will also work on regulating outgoing mobile voice services and revise fixed and wholesale markets.

The agenda also includes adding audiovisual content to the regulatory sandbox.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Indotel will pursue the modification of audience regulations, the creation of a national roaming regulation, and modifying pay TV, resale, authorizations, and administrative sanctioning procedures. Other topics cover updating the national frequency plan, creating spectrum caps, and a regulatory innovation strategy.

The watchdog proposes to “adapt the regulation to promote innovation in the provision of telecommunications networks and services, prioritizing the access and use of ICTs, with special attention to rural areas or areas with low connectivity, encouraging competition and generate timely responses as required by the sector.”

Indotel will work with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to simplify and digitize processes and open an opportunity for innovative projects through a sandbox that offers flexible, delimited and controlled spaces for testing.

After the 5G spectrum tender, related regulations should also be changed. The national frequency plan should include modifications that arise from the World Radio Conference (WRC-19) and regulate spectrum hoarding to prevent monopolies and idle frequencies. Specifically, it is expected to cap spectrum for IMT mobile services.

It also provides for the obligation to offer national roaming and specify duties of internet service resellers.

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