New integrated telecoms licences ready to be issued
The head of the new Regulatory Authority says the telecoms industry’s long-awaited Integrated Communications Operating Licences will be issued as planned tomorrow.
One-stop shopping, or bundling, of phone, internet and TV for consumers is expected to finally arrive in Bermuda in phases under reform.
But RA chief executive Philip Micallef stressed the planned issuance of ICOLs this week “is not the first and last milestone”.
“After the ICOLs a series of other milestones need to be met,” he told
The Royal Gazette.
He said they include: “End of April: Determination of relevant markets and identification of operators with Significant Market Power in those markets;
“May 6: Issuance of Consultation Paper on Significant Market Power Remedies with the Regulatory Authority's views on what the remedies could be in each market;
“June 19: Closing date for feedback on consultation paper;
“July 8: Regulatory Authority's Decision on any remedies that may be required at this time in markets characterised by Significant Market Power.”
Mr Micallef added: “All the above have been planned and are in line with our original work plan. Carriers with no Significant Market Power designation can start operating as per their ICOLs while those with Significant Market Power need to wait until RA's decision but will get a strong inkling of what the remedies might be in the consultation paper of 6th May. This is a normal process which has been followed in many other jurisdictions when the market gets fully liberalised.”
A high-level industry source said in his opinion “outstanding issues” such as “fee structure, interconnection requirements and the market dominance determination process still need to be worked out”.
However, Mr Micallef said fees have already been determined and made public. The market domination process determination listing which carriers are SMP and which are not will also be made on same day as issuance of ICOLs.
And the remedies and interconnection agreement will be part of the consultation paper on Significant Market Power Remedies to be issued on May 6.
This consultation paper will also contain a sample interconnection agreement and give the carriers an opportunity to provide feedback, he said.
There is also the issue of past taxes/fees, but the RA is to deal with that this week following a review.
“The decision on past fees will be made public on same day as issuance of ICOLs,” Mr Micallef said.
He said the fee investigation has been carried out and a redacted version of the report (containing no confidential information) will be made public.
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