They identify barriers faced by telecommunications operators in municipalities


A study of the Telecommunications Superintendency (Sutel) managed to identify a series of obstacles faced by telecommunications operators in the municipalities of the country, prior to the implementation of 5G networks.

In the document Proposal for incentives for the standardization of municipal regulations for the deployment of telecommunications networks, lists identified barriers to deployment in international experience and point out the main impediments existing at the level of the municipalities detected in Costa Rica.

The analysis reviews the current situation of the municipalities in terms of their regulations and infrastructure status and They propose two incentive mechanisms to encourage the local authorities facilitate the deployment of networks of telecommunications.

It is also based on international experience and cites that in the countries that have developed policies to promote investment in 5G technologiesHE has detected the need to simplify the regulations and measures have been taken to reduce administrative barriers to network deployment, particularly considering the need for coordination with numerous local authorities.

In fact, the first incentive mechanism is oriented in that direction.

The surveys developed within the framework of the Sutel study from 2023 They highlighted concern about the response times of municipal governments as to procedures for the deployment of infrastructure.

The second proposed mechanism aims to promote the reduction of these times.

Federico Chacón, president of the Board of Directors of Sutel, explained that “for the implementation of 5G technology it is necessary that our country consider it appropriate to analyze these elements that affect one way or another In its development.

From our regulatory perspective we know that Infrastructure sharing is an important issuewhose efficient use of resources reduces costs, facilitates the deployment of networks and promotes competition”.

“What have we identified? First, eliminate barriers to entry is an element that It will be essential to promote the deployment of telecommunications networks; second, promote infrastructure sharing mechanisms.

The third point is the clear ruleswe are referring to the issue of regulations that municipalities may have, in which we we found a great disparity regarding the removal of barriers, discretion is perhaps the worst barrier we can identify in this process; the fact that whoever is going to deploy telecommunications infrastructure has to be forced to deal with requirements that are discordant between the cantons, creates a big problem for the industry as such,” explained Deryhan Muñoz, general director of Competition at Sutel.

The barriers

He study identified a series of specific barriers according to each group of municipalities and from 19 indicators raised, which allow defining those with regulations that are more or less favorable to the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure.

The review of municipal regulations (cantons) allowed us to identify some challenges that operators face when deploying.

Firstly, the analysis of the regulations shows five groups of municipalities based on the regulations that govern themwhere highlights the fact that a high number of municipalities belong to Group 5 of municipalities with autonomous regulations.

This is the existence of a high number of regulations (more than 30) appears as the first barrier to deployment to be considered, since a company that wants to carry out deployments in different areas of the country You must know and adapt the provisions of up to 33 regulations.

“The situation of regulations at the municipal level shows variations (Table 10). Except those municipalities where sharing is not promoted, All regulations stipulate constructions with 3 locations, which promotes efficiency, reduces costs deployment for incoming operators and promotes competition.

The prohibition of preferential or exclusive rights to shared use of infrastructure in benefit of an operator or a network determined, that It is only contemplated by the Group 4 regulationsIt is also a provision with pro-competitive consequenceswhich complements that of the 3 locations.

However, the provision that states that it cannot be deployed when there is already available infrastructure appears as a restriction on new deployments”mentions the report.

Solutions

The research indicates that the fact that the regulations to Law No. 10216that had been identified as an essential element to resolve the identified barriers in the “Market Study on the Municipal Regime and its impact on the deployment of infrastructure for 5G networks”, It is discretionary for municipalitiesAs Micitt has concluded, raises the need to have incentive schemes that promote the adoption of said regulationsas a mechanism to reduce discretion in matters of procedures for the construction of telecommunications networks.

It is because of that in order to promote the deployment of 5G network infrastructureHE propose two incentive mechanisms that can be administered by Sutel, Micitt or jointly by both entities.

A first mechanism aimed at standardizing regulations for the construction of facilities applicable for the authorization of 5G infrastructure workswhich involves the accreditation of “Municipalities with implementation of national regulations and that favor the sharing of infrastructure.”

A second mechanism that involves the preparation and publication of a comparative indicator between municipalities of deadlines for authorizations of infrastructure works IMT telecommunications, including those related to 5G.

“The Results of these two mechanisms could be made available to operators and of the infrastructure companies, so that they consider them in their decisions to prioritize areas for infrastructure deployment. As well as the general public, such as a mechanism to promote the elimination of barriers to entry into the market.

In particular, These indicators could be included as part of the available information and usable in the framework of spectrum auctionsso that operators can take them into account when defining the sequentiality of network deployment and installation plans,” proposes the regulatory entity’s analysis.

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