Functions Expanded
Reduction of Internet Costs
Long Distance Mobile Rates

New legislation has recently been enacted that broadens the supervisory powers of the telecommunications industry regulatory body (OSIPTEL). Furthermore, OSIPTEL itself has enacted a number of new regulations. These include the establishment of maximum rates that can be charged for access to the Internet and long distance mobile rates.

Functions Expanded

Law 27336 states that supervision exercised by OSIPTEL covers all activities that relate to (i) compliance with legal, contractual or technical obligations by the supervised entities, and (ii) compliance with a specific mandate or resolution from Osiptel, or any other obligation incumbent on the supervised entity. It also states that supervision must be governed by the principles of transparency, cost-effectiveness, honesty and discretion. Furthermore, it sets out:

  • the obligations of those entities that are subject to supervision;

  • the actions of supervision that can be undertaken without prior notice;

  • the scope of access, by authorized officers, to the information requested by Osiptel;

  • the nature of the information; and

  • the authority to block and seize evidence.

The law establishes that supervised entities are now required to give OSIPTEL, at its request, any type of information regarding their activities. This includes information considered confidential (which under prior legislation they were not obliged to provide). However, the law also states that OSIPTEL will be responsible for the secrecy of the confidential information provided.

The law increases the level of penalty that can be imposed for violations of telecommunications laws and regulations. The amount is raised from 10 to 30 tax units (about US$24,860) for minimum penalties, and from 50 to 300 tax units (about US$248,600) for maximum penalties.

Reduction of Internet Costs

Osiptel has recently approved Resolution 036-2000-CD/OSIPTEL, establishing maximum fixed rates for the use of the Internet, in those cases where the new asymetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology is used for data transmission. These rates will be accessible to users with a fixed-telephony contract, as well as to service operators interested in offering the technology to their subscribers.

The resolution states that the internet service will be applied additionally, and independently, to the rates for connection to the network, installation and monthly charges for the service. It also states that the provision of these services will still be subject to rates established by the companies to whom users connect.

The ADSL technology will permit data transmission at different access speeds, at the user's choice. The application of this technology only requires an ADSL modem and filter units, which will allow transmission of the signal through the user's telephone line and an alternate trunk data network (although not through fixed telephony exchanges).

Consequently, there will be a large variety of services covered by the flat rate system (eg, the Internet, access to data centres, and configuration of private intranet and extranet networks).

Long Distance Mobile Rates

OSIPTEL has recently enacted Mandate 007-2000.GG/OSIPTEL, which states that long distance operators must pay mobile operators a long distance termination rate for calls ending at mobile networks. The rate will be equivalent to 25% of the long distance tariff.

For further information on this topic please contact Luis Miranda or Cayetana Aljovin at Miranda & Amado Abogados by telephone (+51 1 222 4747) or by fax (+51 1 222 7400) or by e-mail ([email protected] or [email protected]).

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