July 2014: British Prime Minister David Cameron has introduced emergency legislation to compel phone companies and internet providers to store customer records, arguing that data needed to track down criminals and terrorists could otherwise be deleted, reports the Washington Post. "The British move comes three months after the European Court of Justice ruled that forcing communications companies to keep records of their customers’ calls and internet use violated rights to... Read this full article
July 2014: Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is to meet with mobile operators Digicel and LIME as well as consumer groups to discuss recent blocking of unlicensed voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services such as Viber and Skype, says TeleGeography. "The two firms blocked access to the over-the-top (OTT) VoIP services, saying they were unauthorised and that they were having a negative impact on network quality. The regulator is keen to work out a... Read this full article
July 2014: IDC reports that the European Commission has approved the takeover of Germany's fourth largest mobile network, E-Plus, by Telefónica, cutting the number of network operators from four to three. It also reports that at a meeting to "review the EC's proposed conditions for approval of the deal, only two out of 12 national competition regulators that had been invited to participate voted in favour of the proposal" amid concerns that reserve network space for MVNOs will... Read this full article
July 2014: China has told the nation’s three state-owned wireless carriers to cut marketing expenses because they overspent on subsidies and advertising for devices such as Apple's iPhone, the Taipei Times reports. The state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) told the carriers to cut promotional spending by a combined 40 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) in three years. "A reduction of subsidies would make high-end devices such as the... Read this full article
July 2014: Mexico's lower house of Congress has approved legislation that aims to rein in telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim and broadcaster Televisa to encourage more competition in the phone and TV markets, notes Reuters. "The approval was a victory for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has faced political opposition and a sluggish economy this year after he pushed a series of reforms through Congress in 2013 that were designed to spur faster growth in Mexico... Read this full article
July 2014: Pakistan's IT ministry has finally released a draft telecoms policy, reports the Business Recorder. It notes that "there is realisation that regulations and market forces have to find new ways to see the kind of growth previously seen in the 2000s, but existing licensing frameworks for landline, mobile and value-added services remain in place." A strong focus on consumer protection is "refreshing", and all telecoms services will need to meet minimum quality of service standards by... Read this full article
July 2014: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that for the next five years it will add domestic wholesale SMS termination to the mobile termination services which are regulated in Australia, reports Mondaq. "This is a significant decision for carriers and carriage service providers and is the first time that SMS termination services have been subject to regulation by the ACCC, which suggests that the effect will be 'to see SMS... Read this full article
July 2014: The CEO of Italian telecoms equipment manufacturer, Italtel, has urged European leaders to create a single digital market to stimulate investment in next generation networks in Europe, reports TelecomPaper. Stefano Pileri made the call to action at the Digital Venice 2014 meeting promoted by the Italian presidency of the European Council. His comments are part of the Venice Declaration unveiled at the event, which aims to clearly define the... Read this full article
July 2014: In the UK, opposition leader Ed Miliband has announced that the Labour party intends to establish an independent national infrastructure commission if it returns to power. Miguel Coelho writes that "the commission was a key recommendation of Sir John Armitt’s infrastructure review published in 2013. It would be responsible for identifying the UK's long-term infrastructure needs… It is seen by its proponents as a critical part of a system of long-term infrastructure... Read this full article
July 2014: The European Commission has launched a Connected Communities initiative – "an umbrella for several systems designed to connect towns, cities, local broadband partnerships and operators to the advice they need to access finance and develop tailored business models for bringing fast broadband to their community". All parties working at a local, regional and national level are invited to submit their concepts and plans for broadband deployment projects... Read this full article
July 2014: Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the first Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN), a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Education, the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, notes HumanIPO. "The president said the network will create an effective infrastructural backbone to interconnect all research and education institutions in the country and link them with other research... Read this full article
July 2014: The Economist has a colourful article on laying cable for fast internet access in Africa by Liquid Telecom, a firm that has faced "no small challenge" to bring its fibre-optic cable from Cape Town to Chirundu on the Zambezi river, which marks the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. "It had taken two years to negotiate the various permits required for Liquid to take its cable across the Limpopo from South Africa to Zimbabwe. A further 18 months of talks for permission to... Read this full article
July 2014: India's telecoms regulator, Trai, has raised the minimum broadband speed to 512 kbps from 256 kbps, writes the Times of India. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had revised the broadband speed according to the National Telecom Policy 2012 and Trai recommendations. The earlier minimum broadband speed of 256 kbps was set in the country's broadband policy in 2004. A further speed minimum of 2 Mbps is set for 2015. According to... Read this full article
July 2014: The ITU has established a focus group on digital financial services to promote financial inclusion using ICT in response to a proposal from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a member of ITU's Standardization Sector (ITU-T). "The extraordinary impact of mobile money solutions in developing countries has highlighted that ICTs are at the heart of innovation in financial services," said ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré. "What is lacking is an international... Read this full article
July 2014: East Africa will soon have a common mobile money platform that will enable users to send money from one country to another without any difficulty, under exchange rates approved by central banks, reports HumanIPO. "This is according to Godfrey Kyama, e-banking advisor to the Commonwealth, in his presentation at the ongoing Tech4Africa conference in Nairobi. Kyama said the platform is the brainchild of the East African Community (EAC) and will be... Read this full article
July 2014: The European Commission has signed a "landmark agreement" with South Korea on 5G mobile technology, "a milestone in the global race to develop 5G mobile technologies". EC commissioner Neelie Kroes and Mun-Kee Choi, South Korea's minister of science, ICT and future planning have agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research, as well as the need for harmonised radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability.... Read this full article
July 2014: The European Union's 11th eGovernment Benchmark report is said to be the first complete measurement of online public services (running in 2012/13) according to the new eGovernment Benchmark Framework 2012-15. The measurement uses mystery shopping techniques to recreate citizen's journeys through government websites and services. It follows defined sets of life events (like starting a new company or moving), in seven different government areas... Read this full article
July 2014: The US FCC has published the rules for its first incentive spectrum auction. "This Order adopts rules to implement the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction… a new tool authorised by Congress to help the Commission meet the nation’s accelerating spectrum needs." See http://fcc.us/1jubGIB Meanwhile the huge response to the FCC's net neutrality consultation, including controversial "internet fast lanes", crashed its computers, reports Philly.com... Read this full article
July 2014: The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), the country's pioneer telecoms operator, and 13 other telecoms companies as "inactive operators", notes AllAfrica. According to Technology Times, NCC's declaration of NITEL and its mobile business unit, MTEL, as inactive "further reflects the southward fortunes of the two public-owned telcos, as they technically no longer contribute to the periodic... Read this full article
July 2014: Australia has embarked on a review of its spectrum policy and management framework. "Established in 1992, the current framework led the world in how it dealt with the complexities of spectrum management. But today, more than 20 years later, the fast changing nature of technology has dated the framework. It needs to be modernised to reflect changes in technology, markets and consumer preferences that have occurred over the last decade and to better deal with... Read this full article
US-Caribbean Media Relations: Insights
Cordel Green and Richardo Williams discuss media ownership and content licensing – and consider broader cultural implications for all. Article from Intermedia, Summer 2014.
Intelligence for Communities
There could hardly be a more important imperative than harnessing technology to transform communities, as Stephen Tom argues. Article from Intermedia, Summer 2014.
TMF Miami, 20-21 May 2014
Innovation, investment incentives and internet governance: Policy and regulatory decision making in the emerging and developed American markets.
IIC Chapter Meetings
News on changes to the French Chapter and updates on recent events organised by the Australian, Thailand, UK and US Chapters of the IIC.
Volume 42 Issue 2 for Summer 2014 is now available to members for download (login required).
What About Innovation?
David Tennenhouse and Sharon Gillett of Microsoft pose a key question: what if innovation were the primary policy goal?
TMF Brussels, March 2014, Presentations Available
View the final event programme and download speaker presentations from 11-12 March 2014 (Member login required for presentations)
The theme for this year's IIC Annual Conference will be Trends in Global Communications: Breaking down silos to embrace convergence. Find out more about this event plus book your place now to benefit from early bird discounts.
Hosted by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadband and Telecommunications (RTR). Find out more about this event plus book your place now to benefit from early bird discounts.