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Select specific jurisdictions to filter on. Alternatively select no jurisdictions and select questions below to see all jurisdiction answers for them.
Select specific questions to filter on. Alternatively select no questions and select jurisdictions above to see all question answers for them.
Provide a general overview of the telecoms regulatory and licensing scheme.
What are the regulatory authorities, agencies and departments that oversee telecommunication licensing, transactions and telecoms activities and what are their general responsibilities? Does regulatory treatment of telecoms services providers differ depending on the type of service?
Describe the main issues related to dispute resolution in the telecoms industry and how disputes with a regulator would be generally resolved.
Do you expect any significant changes in the near future in the legislative or licensing scheme or in the governing authorities?
What significant telecom-specific international treaties is your country party to? Has your country made any commitments under the GATS/GATT regarding telecommunications or adopted the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement?
What trends were noticeable in the market in 2017? What trends do you expect to see in the next 12 months?
Is there a "national broadband strategy" or strategy for public internet or Wi-F access? Are there regulatory policies designed to bypass landline technology and promote wireless? Or to promote "fibre to the home"? Are there policies intended to support or subsidise broadband access to underserved or unserved areas?
How are wireline or wireless telecoms services licensed, and how is radio-frequency spectrum allocated and made available to applicants (eg, service providers)? In particular, describe the licensing regime in your jurisdiction, including the procedures for a company to obtain licences to provide wireline or wireless telecoms services, or for use of radio-frequency spectrum. May licences be traded or sub-licensed and if yes, under what conditions? Are there any direct or indirect foreign ownership limitations?
What types of duties, royalties and taxes must be paid by an operator to obtain and maintain telecoms licences? Are there universal service contribution requirements (or equivalent) to help fund or subsidise the provision of telecoms services to underserved, remote or high-cost areas?
What are the principal requirements to land a submarine telecoms cable, to traverse territorial waters in your jurisdiction?
Are data centres, data transmission and associated privacy considerations subject to special regulation?
Describe the general licensing and regulatory requirements for satellites in the telecoms industry. Are there any direct or indirect foreign ownership limitations? Are there separate or specific licensing or regulatory requirements for foreign satellite system operators to provide services in your country?
Has number portability been a concern in your jurisdiction? Has it had any effect on competition? How are numbers allocated?
Are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) allowed or common? Are there any impediments, restrictions or special regulations affecting MVNOs?
Is network-to-network interconnection and access mandatory? What is the pricing scheme? Are there certain criteria for qualifying?
What is the current state of telecoms competition in your jurisdiction? Is the telecoms market dominated by a limited number of participants or is market-share more equally dispersed? Is there a policy to require a minimum number of national wireline and wireless operators to ensure competition? Do you foresee contraction or consolidation in the industry in the near future due to the entry of additional operators?
Are competition rules relevant for the telecoms industry in your jurisdiction? Describe any antitrust approvals or other competition law requirements that may apply in connection with telecoms investment.
Are there any rules specific to the telecoms industry for effecting mergers and acquisitions?
Are prices for telecoms services regulated, or is it purely market-driven? Are there any differences between prices for consumers and businesses? Are retail or wholesale price controls imposed on any operator? Does any regulation of pricing differ depending on the type of service?
Describe recent efforts to expand the telecoms infrastructure in your jurisdiction. How have they been funded (public, private, public-private partnerships, etc)? Have you noted any trends or any notable issues in connection with expansion?
Have telecoms operators in your jurisdiction adopted "convergence" in respect of their market offerings? If yes, what is the current state of play in the market? Are cable TV operators offering telephony services or internet streaming services? Has network partnering been adopted by any operators in the market to increase their viability?
Are there any issues regarding availability of suitable radio-frequency spectrum for wireless broadband and other emerging uses? Are there any upcoming auctions or modifications to existing radio-frequency spectrum use allocations to encourage the expansion of emerging wireless communications services? Are there radio-frequency spectrum caps in operation? If so, what effect are these having on the market?
Are significant portions of your jurisdiction underserved? If so, is there a focus on rural expansion? Are there mandatory requirements for rural or universal service (including contributions to fund or subsidise the cost of expanding telecoms services to remote, underserved or high-cost areas)?
Briefly describe the importance of social media in your jurisdiction? Has your jurisdiction addressed net neutrality?
Provide an overview of privacy protection, cybersecurity and liability for unauthorised or illegal activity online as applicable to common carriers, web hosts and end users.
Is there any domestic regulation or censorship of internet or other media content? Are there any privacy agencies or regulators or set procedures, or it is largely self-regulated? Are there particular laws that impose liability on operators, or conversely act as a "liability shield", for such operators?
Who are the most significant foreign participants in your country in the telecoms sector?
Describe any legal limitations on the types of companies that can enter into telecoms transactions or possess telecoms licences. Are there any local ownership requirements or restrictions on foreign investment in telecoms activities? Are there any significant regulations regarding domestic participation or labour laws relating to foreign workers?
Are there any limitations on direct or indirect foreign investment or ownership in the telecoms sector? Are there differing procedures for foreign investors or owners depending on the type of foreign owner or investor?
How are national concerns in the telecoms sector addressed? Are there restrictions on the nationality of equipment manufacturers or network systems providers?
What types of financial investors are most active in the telecoms market in your jurisdiction? Has there been a shift in the sources of funding over recent years due to economic uncertainty or otherwise? Where do you expect to see the bulk of financing come from in the next 12 months?
Is there any public funding of infrastructure by local or foreign export credit agencies or development financing institutions? How does this mesh with private funding?
Briefly describe any legal considerations of particular importance in your jurisdiction in connection with a cross-border financing of telecoms companies.
What conditions precedent would you recommend a lender include in their loan documentation?
What is the most common method for a lender to take collateral security in a telecoms acquisition or general-purpose financing? For example, are lenders able to establish a security interest in (or obtain a pledge of) licences or authorisations granted to a domestic telecoms system operator? Are there methods of granting security that are more beneficial?
Describe any limits on, or requirements with respect to, a lender’s ability to take a valid and enforceable security interest in telecoms assets or licences. How would such liens be perfected (if at all) to ensure a lender’s priority with respect to those assets?
Are there any significant restrictions that may impact the timing and value of enforcement with respect to security interests in telecoms assets or licences – such as a requirement for a public auction or the availability of court blocking procedures to other creditors or the company (or its trustee in bankruptcy) or additional regulatory approvals associated with enforcement?
Are there any bankruptcy rules in your jurisdiction with respect to the redistribution and sale of telecoms assets and licences?
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
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