The Bulgarian parliament has passed an Electronic Communications Act that will replace the Telecommunications Act. The new law was supposed to be enacted in 2006 and take effect on 1 January 2007, the date of the country’s accession to the EU. The delay means the new law will most likely enter into force in early 2008.
Alternative telecom providers have already slammed the new bill for further entrenching the last-mile monopoly of fixed-line incumbent BTC. They claim provisions in the new law limit newcomer’s access to the local loop thereby stunting market competition. The Electronic Communications Act requires wireless carriers to provide mobile number portability from 1 January 2009. Disagreements between Bulgaria’s three cellcos scuppered the early introduction of the service, which had been scheduled for the start of 2007.