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Q&A with Oscar Reyes Peña

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Andrea Millwood Hargrave, Director General IIC interviews Oscar Reyes Peña, President Prai and CNTV Chile

Q. PRAI has a large group of members, who have an interest in topics related to content. What would you say are the three main issues facing the Platform?

A. The Ibero-American Audiovisual Regulators Platform, PRAI, has content regulators in its majority, but also with two convergent regulators (the CNMC of Spain and the IFT of Mexico), and also, has, as observer members, regulators Of Telecommunications of Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Digital TV, technological convergence and the diversity of platforms for viewing audiovisual content is a challenge for Latin America in terms of regulation. In the next two years we want to establish a public policy on regulation for the future of communications and audiovisual in relation to technological advances. Today we have to take charge of the paradigm of convergence. We know that on the Internet, as well as content of high cultural value, information and entertainment, there are also contents that violate human dignity, against the human person, that promote anti-values such as racism and hatred, or can negatively affect The formation of our children and adolescents. This is a topic we have discussed with other regulators, and there is a joint concern to work on these issues in the coming months. In that sense, we must establish inter-American standards for audiovisual regulation in the region. In the area of content, the principle of Pluralism is also strategic; And finally, the issue of the Digital Divide is also considered strategic.

Q.  How important are access issues for you as regulators? Is the Platform related to telecommunications regulators? And this happens formally or informally?

A. The issue of access is very important, and so are the gaps both in access to technologies as well as in the skills to use them. It has been difficult to reconcile the interests and concerns of converged and telecoms regulators with those of content regulators, and we are working along those lines to establish links that will enable future achievements. The PRAI is a network of exchange of experiences to create public policies, precisely because of the common problems that we face. So far, decisions on access to technologies have been seen only from infrastructure policies. Among the challenges of convergence is facing the new technological scenario with strategies that are also convergent, and in that sense we are working.

Q. Within your own country, Chile, what are the two main issues you should address that are outside the three regional themes you described earlier?

A. In Chile we are starting with the migration to digital TV, since until last year, there were only experimental permits issued by the Undersecretary of Telecommunications to transmit in digital, but not digital licenses or concessions. We already have a radio spectrum plan – the responsibility of the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications – and we, as National Television Council, must deliver the concessions for terrestrial digital channels and we have already opened the public tender in all Chile.

This public tender was qualified as a historical event, since for the first time it will be possible to request a new television concession of national, regional, local or local coverage of a community character, the National Television Council called for a public competition to apply for 116 Digital Television frequencies throughout the country. This is a great challenge for our country and within the next few months we could already have the first digital concessions in Chile.

This is a historic milestone for the field of communications in our country. It is the largest democratic act in the media in Chile. Digital television opens up access to a greater number of channels, to more offer and diversity of contents. This means more pluralism, and this principle applied to the media is reflected as a fundamental value of the democratic system, which is based on the exercise of fundamental rights of freedom of expression and information.

Another relevant issue is the fact that digital television will generate more pluralism, which means, therefore, more and better democracy. Since more supply will not necessarily mean more content diversity, better representation and greater participation of minorities in television and audiovisual, or more social actors with the capacity to have their own television channels, as in the case, for example, television Which has a long history in Chile, and which, with the new law introduced by digital television, has the possibility, for the first time, of obtaining a television concession. During my time as president of the CNTV we have created a fund with resources to encourage the production of community programming in order to deliver diversity of content to the screen and to be able to match the television field.

Q. What are the key challenges for the country in its digital development in the next three to five years?

A. As the first point is the arrival of digital television, a challenge that I have had to lead in the CNTV, although we are starting this process, we have a great challenge country to make the best digital lighting of the country set for the year 2020. This is A historical landmark for the field of communications in our country. With digital television, access to a greater number of channels, greater and better offer, and more diversity of contents, that is, more pluralism.

Secondly, and due to the convergent use of technologies, especially among children, the issue of content regulation becomes increasingly crucial. The regulatory bodies in Europe have made more progress in this regard, as the European Audiovisual Directive imposes a regulatory framework for action.

In Chile, we did at the end of last year, the first survey on Internet television, and showed important results regarding the audiovisual content that circulates online. The Chileans and Chileans in 84% want and expect some content to be regulated, as is the case of hate speech, racism; The promotion and diffusion of anorexia and bulimia, among others. And it is expected that the State and other actors, have that regulatory responsibility.

Q. Participate in the next IIC Telecommunication and Media Forum, an international event focused on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. How important is it for you and your colleagues to work with your counterparts in other countries and what do you expect from the IIC meeting?

A. Indeed, I will participate in the next IIC Forum in Miami. I want to know how the issues we have discussed have been solved by other countries. The case of Mexico is important, since they have already complied with the digital ignition. Other countries, which are reviewing their audiovisual laws, are in a very relevant discussion process as well. I hope to have the opportunity to strengthen ties with other countries that are not in the Ibero-American Regulators Platform, PRAI, to join in order to enrich the exchange of experiences and learn from them.

Andrea Millwood Hargrave, Director General IIC interviews Oscar Reyes Peña, President Prai and CNTV Chile

Content: innovation, regulation and markets
Oscar Reyes Oscar Reyes President, Consejo Nacional De Televisión (CNTV) and Plataforma De Reguladores Audiovisuales De Iberoamérica (PRAI), Chile
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