Telecom Authority of #Trinidad and #Tobago posts draft policy for (and proposed amendments to) the Telecommunications Act

On May 6, 2013, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Trinidad and Tobago via the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT ; http://www.tatt.org.tt) have posted two documents for public comment. They are:

The submission of comments must be made on or before Monday 3rd June 2013 (update June 28 2013) extended to July 9 2013.

(Update : June 28, 2013 : TTCS Draft Comments posted)

 

 

 

Proposed Policy to amend the Telecommunications Act of Trinidad and Tobago

According to the Proposed Policy to amend the Telecommunications Act,

The Policy is intended to amend the framework developed for the administration and regulation of the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors as set out in the Telecommunications Act.

The Policy is thus intended to amend market regulatory rules to provide for the continued orderly development of the telecommunications and broadcasting
sector after the liberalisation process begun in earnest in 2005. The policy therefore provides for the strengthening of the Authority’s powers in certain instances to
mitigate against activity which may have a prejudicial impact on the sector and the wider economy.

The policy also seeks to provide for appropriate competition regulation in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors which will effectively close the
regulatory gaps created by the passage of the Fair Trading Act Chap. 81:13. Section 3(g) of the said Act specifically excludes from its ambit, those companies
which fall under the purview of the Telecommunications Act.

The Proposed Policy to amend the Telecommunications further describes

  • the policy objectives,
  • an overview of recent developments in the telecom sector,
  • six key policy policy principles which the proposed act should adhere to, and
  • a summary of the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act

View/Download the Proposed  Policy to amend the Telecommunications Act (PDF ; 432K) (Mirror copy of “Proposed Policy to Amend the Telecommunications Act”)

 

Proposed Telecommunications Amendment Act

This document is the proposed Telecommunication Act as it would look after the amendments were made to the Act. The modifcations or changes to the existing act are in bold.

View/Download the Proposed Telecommunications Amendment Act (PDF ; 897K) (Mirror copy of “Proposed Telecommunications Amendment Act”)

How to submit comments

Persons wanting to submit comments can submit their comments online or via paper using the “Public Consultation Comment Submission Form-Draft Policy and Proposed Amendments to Telecommunications Act” (DOC ; 41K ; Mirror of “Public Consultation Comment Submission Form-Draft Policy and Proposed Amendments to Telecommunications Act”) form.

Submission of comments must be made on or before Monday 3rd June 2013.

Draft National Broadcasting Code for Trinidad and Tobago submitted to Ministry of Public Admin for approval by Parlament

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago has submitted the final Draft Broadcast Code (PDF ; 1.2MB) to the Ministry of Public Administration for approval by Parliament.

The Draft Broadcast Code contains rules for regulating the content of programmes and material transmitted by radio and TV broadcasters (specifically the free-to-air radio, free-to-air TV and the basic (or general audience) package of subscription TV broadcasters.

3rd Draft of National Broadcasting Code for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago published for comments

The Telecommunications Authority of  Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has published the third draft of the National Broadcasting Code for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 1.14MB) .

Included in this draft document are the comments received from previous drafts and TATT’s response to them.

Comments on the draft Broadcast Code for Trinidad and Tobago are to be sent to TATT before January 23rd, 2009.

TATT publishes list of approved telecom equipement for Trinidad and Tobago

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has published in November 2008 a 12 page list of telecommunications equipment that has been approved and certified for use in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 124K).

Unsurprisingly, most common computer telecommunication equipment from bluetooth devices to wi-fi routers are “CLASS” licensed with no fees for use.

Trinidad and Tobago Broadcast Code

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has published a draft Broadcasting Code  containing rules for regulating the content of programmes and material transmitted by radio and TV broadcasters (specifically the free-to-air radio, free-to-air TV and the basic (or general audience) package of subscription TV broadcasters).

According to the document :

“the principles which inform the Code are respect for the right of adults to choose the programming they want, while protecting children and young persons from unsuitable
material through appropriate scheduling and, the need to protect persons from harm or
unnecessary offence.”

The Code prescribes specific standards for the broadcast of free-to-air radio and television programmes in relation to a number of issues including the following :

  • Protection of children and young persons
  • Harm and offence
  • Crime
  • Race
  • Due Impartiality and due accuracy in the reporting of news
  • Election coverage
  • Fairness and privacy
  • Right of reply
  • Information and warnings
  • Advertising and sponsorship
  • Religion

The Code also outlines procedures for receiving complaints and for redress.

TATT will be holding public meetings (not announced as of August 10th, 2008 ) at locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago between 18th August 2008 and 29th August 2008. Persons may also submit comments in writing to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago at 76 Boundary Road, San Juan, Trinidad or by email to [email protected].

The deadline for the receipt of written comments on the Code and the Guidelines to TATT is
August 29, 2008
.

Download :

Also, see Presentations from TATT’s seminar “Balance on the airwaves ; free speech and responsibility”

TATT – Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands.

Spotted on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s website :

The Authority has prepared, and made available for public comment, a document titled Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands.

The Plan was produced as a result of an investigation into the availability of spectrum for new spectrum users in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands for the provision of BWA services. In addition, the plan assesses the current uses of these bands by existing spectrum users with the intention of aligning the current uses to the goal and objectives of the Spectrum Plan.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on this document to the Authority, on or before Friday 9th May 2008

View/Download the Refarming Plan for Broadband Wireless Access Services in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Bands (PDF ; 141K)

Presentations from TATT’s seminar “Balance on the airwaves ; free speech and responsibility”

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) seminar “Balance on the Airwaves: Free speech and responsibility” was held on April 2nd and 3rd, 2008 at the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Trinidad.

The seminar was very informative and fortunately, TATT has made the presentations made at the “Balance on the Airwaves : Free Speech and responsibility” seminar online.  TATT has also mentioned that video footage will also be available.

TATT seminar “balance on the airwaves ; free speech and responsibility” on April 2-3, 2008

The Telecom Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) is sponsoring a public seminar called “Balance on the airwaves: free speech and responsibility” on April 2-3, 2008 at the Grand Ballroom, Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre.

There is no charge for attending this seminar, however interested persons are asked to register by 4:00pm Wednesday March 26th 2008. To register you are kindly asked to contact Mr Sean Samad, Communications, Public Relations Officer or Ms Ingrid Gittens, Administrative Coordinator at 675-8288 ext 310 and 332 respectively or at registration at tatt -dot- org -dot- tt.

According to the PDF on TATT’s website (18K) :

“This seminar will feature, interactive sessions, panel discussions and stimulating presentations by the following eight internationally respected experts on issues and areas of concern dealing with broadcasting, media and regulation policies and practices for media and broadcasting.

  • Ms. Eve Salomon – author of UNESCO and CBA’s “Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation” – The Broadcast Code – challenges faced and commonalities encountered (with a focus on the global aim to protect minors)
  • Dr. Hopeton Dunn – Director, Telecommunications Policy and Management Programme, Mona Business School, UWI MONA – Globalisation, Convergence and the Digital Future: Policy Issues in Caribbean Broadcasting Regulation.
  • Mr. Mark Lloyd – Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, Adj. Professor, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute: The relationship between communication policies and a strong democratic society – why talk radio is important
  • Dr. Suzy dos Santos – Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro: “The role of media in social development and democracy: how Brazil faces global changes in TV regulation, distribution and production”
  • Mr. Toby Mendel – Law/Asia Programmes Director, ARTICLE 19: International Guarantees of Freedom of Expression: Implications for Broadcast Regulation
  • Ms. Sonia Gill – Asst. Executive Director, Broadcasting Commission, Jamaica: A Caribbean perspective: stakeholder consultation and the road to broadcast regulation in Jamaica
  • Ms. Graciela Baroni Suleiman – Executive Coordinator NUPEF, RITS’ Centre for Research, Studies and Capacity Building in ICT for Human Development, Internet Governance and Rights: The impact of media on the construction of more peaceful societies
  • Mr. Ronald I. Cohen – National Chair, Canadian Broadcast Standards Council: Making the link – the model of self-regulation, enforcement and collaboration between regulators and the broadcasting sector

Under the Telecommunications Act,  TATT is mandated to develop a National Broadcasting Code which will apply to the transmission of audio, video and text broadcasts via any medium, whether “free to air”, subscription based, or the Internet”

In April 2005, TATT’s announced a Draft National Broadcasting Code (PDF ; 157K) document and after three public consultations, announced that a Broadcast Code in 2006 will be in place although this did not happen.

TATT appointed Dispute Resolution Panel rules on interconnection rates between Digicel and TSTT

From the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) :

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (the “Authority”) advises the public that the Dispute Resolution Panel appointed to resolve the dispute in relation to final interconnection rates between Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Digicel) and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) delivered its final decision yesterday, 7th March 2008.

Read : TATT’s press release (PDF ; 28K) and the actual Report and Decision of the Arbitration Panel (PDF ; 576K)

Both Digicel and TSTT has issued press releases pointing out decisions which favour them at the expense of the other.

Laqtel’s concession to provide mobile services in Trinidad and Tobago terminated

Laqtel’s concession to operate a “public domestic mobile telecommunications network” in Trinidad and Tobago was terminated by the Ministry of Public Administration following the recommendation to terminate by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).

Laqtel was granted a concession to operate on December 30th, 2005. However, Laqtel and its main partner, Saskatchewan Telecommunications International (Sasktel) parted ways in March 2006 . In late May 2006, Laqtel and TSTT announced that they has signed a interconnection agreement . In June 2006, it was reported that Laqtel intended to partner with the Paltel, a Palestinian based telecommunications company. However, Paltel and Laqtel parted ways in November 2006.

In December 2006, Laqtel announced that they were hoping to launch in time for the March 2007 Cricket World Cup (being held in the West Indies) and a technology/equipment alliance with Sprint Nextel. This did not happen, amid continuing financial difficulties and warnings from TATT in July 2007 that Laqtel risked losing its concession.

Since the award of Laqtel’s concession in December 31st, 2005, Laqtel failed to pay a $4,000,000 TT performance bond to TATT and failed to launch before 30th June 2006 as the concession stipulated. TATT sued Laqtel in September 2007 for its failure to pay the performance bond. Laqtel plead guility, and its attorney argued that the magistrate consider the circumstances Laqtel found themselves in, in considering sentencing.

The magistrate sentenced Laqtel to pay additional fines in November 2007 until the performance bond was paid.

The Minister of Public Administration revoked Laqtel’s concession on March 14th, 2008 ; TATT also seized several of Laqtel’s assets to collect funds owned from the performance bond and court fines. You can read more details from TATT’s press release about the termination of Laqtel’s concession to operate a mobile network in Trinidad and Tobago (PDF ; 34K).

Laqtel isn’t giving up ; it has asked the Minister of Public Administration to reconsider the termination of Laqtel’s concession.