On May 7, 2014, the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones“IFT”) approved the “General Guidelines, requirements, terms and conditions for current concessionaires of telecommunications and broadcasting services to obtain authorization to render services additional to those established in their concessions” (the “Guidelines”).
These Guidelines will be published in the following days in the Official Gazette of the Federation, for entering into force.
The objective of these Guidelines is to allow current concessionaires to render services additional to the already established in their concession titles. In the past, concessions were granted exclusively for the provision of certain authorized services which were established and described in the concession title.
We must remember that the Constitutional Amendments on Telecommunications, published on June 11, 2013, established the legal regime of the Sole Concession, by which it will be possible to render all telecommunications and broadcasting services, provided that they are technologically possible, through any transmission mean (the Sole Concession does not grant any type of use over the radio spectrum, for which it would be necessary to have a radio spectrum concession).
IFT has stated that it will be able to issue the general guidelines for the current concessionaires to migrate to the regime of Sole Concession once the Secondary Law on Telecommunications is enacted.
While the transition to a Sole Concession is expected to be the best option for current concessionaires to render convergent services of telecommunications and broadcasting, as of today, the Secondary Law on Telecommunications that will regulate the regime of Sole Concessions has not been enacted. However, upon entry into force of the new Guidelines, despite the fact that the current concessionaires cannot obtain the Sole Concession, such concessionaires may request the authorization to render additional services. In this sense, concessionaires would not have to wait for the enactment of the Secondary Law and the issuing of the general guidelines governing the transition to the Sole Concession to render additional services.
We hope that all regulatory changes on Telecommunications will bring benefits to the Telecom sector; therefore, parties should take advantage of those changes as they become available.