by Linda Straker
“Changes in the Regulatory Landscape for Electronic Communications – The Role of ECTEL” was the theme of a one-day media clinic which involved media owners and workers in Grenada.
The media clinic was organized by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and was held at the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRC) on Thursday, 28 July 2016.
The purpose of the media clinic was to bring media practitioners in ECTEL Member States together, to familiarise them with the current regulatory landscape and the pertinent issues and trends affecting the sector and ECTEL’s role as regulator for the five sovereign states.
The clinic focused on topics such as the “structure and functions of ECTEL based on the Treaty; structure of the NTRC; broadcasting and spectrum monitoring, and the role of the Minister responsible for Telecommunications,” said the letter of invitation.
The workshop also looked at the Electronic Communications Sector in the ECTEL Member States — key trends, indicators and statistics and present the findings of the sector review; general trends in the sector and discuss the role of data/statistics in regulation.
The facilitators from ECTEL provided updates on new regulatory initiatives including the new Electronic Communications Bill, Regulations, Roaming and Number Portability.
The purpose of the Bill which is to be soon presented in the parliament of the various ECTEL members is to reform the legislation relating to telecommunications in the Electronic Communications Authority (ECA) Contracting States by repealing and replacing the Telecommunications Acts with legislation which given the converged environment is broader in scope to encompass electronic communications.
The Bill is aimed at allowing a liberalized and non-discriminatory entry into the electronic communications sector and enabling a robust competitive environment in which there is fairness, transparency and accountability on the part of the regulators of the sector.
The new piece of legislation which was opened for public comments among other things speaks against monopoly. It said that a licensee shall not take advantage of its significant of its market power in a market for the supply of a service with a view to preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the market.