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Regulation of Communications Markets

Institutional Development and Capacity Building

A key feature of a liberalised communications sector is the existence of the independent regulatory authority implementing government policy and monitoring the ongoing effectiveness of that policy and of the wider development of the sector in general. The regulator thus occupies a crucial facilitative position between the policy and operational levels of the industry, acting as a channel for representing and interpreting the opinions of operators and the wider user community back to legislators and policymakers. In addition, a clear division between regulator and government Ministry increases the degree to which the actions of the regulator are likely to be perceived as neutral and transparent, and so boosts market confidence in the sector.

Such confidence, however, must be underpinned by regulatory behaviour and standards that are credible and inspire trust on the part of market players and users alike. The specialised knowledge and skillsets required by an effective independent regulator are not always available within the context of a government Ministry or incumbent operator, and even where experienced staff are transferred into a newly-created regulatory body, they may require retraining and reorientation for their new role. In addition, the organisational structure of the new regulator needs to be designed so as to deliver optimal performance in the exercise of its responsibilities, both in terms of competence and capability and in economic efficiency. Where policies change or economic or technological drivers require new regulatory initiatives, even established regulatory authorities may need to review their approach and methods of working.

InterConnect Communications is experienced in assisting governments to establish and develop independent regulatory authorities with the powers and means needed to enforce the communications regulatory framework. We can help determine the strategic role of the regulatory body based on local conditions and international best practice.

We can advise on the operational role of the regulator, be it through detailed planning to establish a new regulatory authority or by recommending organisational and procedural changes to the existing body to maximise its efficiency. We can also help build regulatory experience through benchmarking and best practice reviews and by staff training, either directly or via attendance at our acclaimed Telecommunications Regulatory Master Class (TRMC) courses.