On February 15 2012 Brazil's telecommunications regulator (ANATEL) submitted for public consultation its proposed Regulation of the Fixed Switched Telephone Service Universalisation Obligations.

The proposed regulation will govern the General Universalisation Goals Plan (PGMU), approved by Decree 7,512/2011, which establishes the universal access and service goals for fixed switched telephone service (FSTS) incumbents for the period 2011 to 2015.

The new regulation is designed to unify the previous PGMU Regulation and the Regulation for the Monitoring and Control of the Universalisation Goals of FSTS, as well as to govern the goals established by the new PGMU decree.

The regulation states, among other things, that up to 50% of the backhaul capacity allocated for the universalisation of FSTS must be provided to local governments that offer free e-government services to the public.

Another change in the existing rules involves the use of multiple-facility service stations that are deployed by FSTS incumbents in cooperatives. At present these stations are required to offer voice, fax and internet access services at the rate of 64 kilobits a second. The proposed regulation will allow cooperatives to negotiate with incumbents for the provided services to be upgraded, as long as they bear the costs of implementing the improvements.

The regulation also establishes rules for the installation of public telephones in indigenous areas and remote communities, and stipulates the obligation of FSTS providers to draw up media plans for the announcement of the universalisation goals defined by ANATEL.

The results of a public consultation, which concluded on March 19 2012, will now be considered.

For further information on this topic please contact Ricardo Barretto Ferreira Da Silva, Fabio Ferreira Kujawski or Thays Castaldi Gentil at BARRETTO FERREIRA KUJAWSKI E BRANCHER – Sociedade de Advogados by telephone (+55 11 3897 0300), fax (+55 11 3897 0330) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]).