A new Telecommunications Law, enacted by the Venezuelan Legislative Commission, came into force on June 13 2000. It replaces the previous law of 1940.

The following are the laws principle features:

  • It establishes the legal framework for the general regulation of telecommunications;

  • It guarantees the people's human right to telecommunications;

  • It guarantees entities rights to perform related economic activities; and

  • It provides for the granting of licences (by auction) for telecommunications services and concessions to use the spectrum.

The law addresses consumer interests by providing the following:

  • A mechanism ensures that everyone in Venezuela, even in remote areas, receives telecommunications services;

  • The Universal Telecommunications Service details the telecommunications services that operators are obligated to provide. In every geographical location they must provide minimum penetration, access, quality and economic accessibility standards;

  • The Universal Service Fund will subsidize the cost of the infrastructure required by the Universal Telecommunications Service; and

  • The Telecommunications Research and Development Fund will guarantee the financing of research and development in the telecommunications sector.

The Law also regulates:

  • use of satellites;

  • rights of way;

  • interconnection;

  • ham-radio operations;

  • approval of equipment; and

  • tariffs and taxes.

For further information on this topic please contact Arnoldo Troconis at D'Empaire Reyna Bermudez Abogados by telephone (+58 212 264 6244) or by fax (+58 212 264 7543) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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