Friday, February 17, 2012

New regulation PGMU goes to the public consultation

The Directing Council of Anatel approved on the afternoon of Wednesday, 15, a new proposal for the Regulation of Universal Service Obligations. The document will be in consultation for 45 days and the agency intends to hold public hearings on the matter. The agenda of the discussions has not been defined.

The proposal approved in a single document summarizes all the rules involving obligations of fixed telephony concessionaires before distributed in two documents: Regulation Monitoring and Control of Universal Service Obligations Fixed Telephony and Regulation of the General Plan for Universal STFC.

The determination of the new regulation takes place eight months after the new General Plan for Universalization (PGMU) have been issued by Presidential Decree No. 7.512/2011. So far, the new targets have been governed by the general parameters of the regulations in force, without guidance being important points such as the expansion of telephony in rural areas through the 450 MHz band and the relocation of public telephone booths.

Rural areas and backhaul

The consultation document that will bring some surprises in these items. In the rural service, the highlight is that the dealership may use other means than just the 450 MHz to meet the goals of care in rural areas. "We better not wait for the definition of the auction the 450 MHz radio company that has available, for example, may use other means to go to meet goals. So, do not inhibit those who want to invest in these areas," said the rapporteur of the case, Emilia Ribeiro counselor.

Another innovation is the inclusion of municipalities in the list of priority access to backhaul the concessionaires. This rule already exists in the proposed General Plan Competition (PGMC), but was out in the regulation of PGMU technical proposal. Text approved by now, local governments that offer free broadband to the population - through digital cities, for example - can use the 50% capacity backhaul reserved for public policy of universal rules.

Another change in the rules surrounding the existing service stations must installed by companies with significant market power (SMP) in cooperatives. Currently these positions must offer voice services, fax and internet connection of 64 kbps. With the new regulation, the cooperatives that want to upgrade these stations will be able to negotiate with companies. Obviously, improving the connection and the services will be paid by the entity, but there was no right to mess with the technical definitions of the premises.

Public Telephone Booths

The public telephone booths also received special treatment in the proposed regulation PGMU. Two new rules were included in the material, to ensure a reallocation of public telephones and another creating a control system meeting the targets. If the regulation is not changed after public consultation, utilities will have to provide quarterly reports to the installation schedule of public phones in places defined in PGMU. On the list are schools, health posts, quilombos, indigenous villages, settlements, road police stations, airfields and military organizations. If companies do not meet the stated schedule, they can be punished, although the regulation does not establish penalties. The sanction in this case should be provided in future Sanctions Regulation.

About relocating ears, the rule specifically targets Embratel. Many cities before met with public telephones for long distance concessionaire will be the responsibility of Oi To allow the repositioning of the equipment, public telephones Embratel these municipalities will be counted as "balance" and should be relocated to other areas of unmet . Still, nothing prevents Embratel keep the hoods in the city of origin, competing with the Hi in these areas. Anatel's strategy is the possibility of requiring the company to install new equipment in another area. Hence the treatment as "balance" given these public telephones.


The only point of friction between the directors was the prediction that the public telephones can a restricted operating hours to prevent vandalism. The counselor-rapporteur Emilia Ribeiro was against the limitation of time, understanding that the measure can lead to a curtailment of the right to communicate. While acknowledging that there are many cases of vandalism of public telephones in Brazil, Emily argued that all equipment are accessible 24 hours a day.

"This discussion reminds me of the time I worked in the Ministry of Education. There, the problem is with libraries. Directors lock the library and take the key home to prevent vandalism, not to spoil the books, so that no one takes them home. This does not work, "he said. "These are public services and the population must have access. It is a matter of education and people should learn to respect public property."

But the counselor was outvoted on this aspect. The proposal prevailed counselor Rodrigo Zerbone where public telephones work full time, but companies will be able to request the restriction in specific cases. To restrict the opening hours of the phone company will have to meet three criteria: prove that repeated vandalism of equipment, presenting the document where the majority of the population agrees with the restriction, and ensure that residents will have access to the appliance in an emergency .

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