Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) has finally paid fees owed to the country’s nascent telecoms regulator, Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel), avoiding the temporary closure of the government watchdog. Following a court ruling, ICE reportedly handed over CRC463 million (USD812,000) in fees for the periods 4Q 2008 and 1Q of 2009.
Sutel is Costa Rica’s newly created telecoms regulator, funded by fees paid by telecoms operators. After ending ICE’s 60-year monopoly last year, the state-owned telco continues to be the sole operator providing fixed line, wireless, internet and other telecoms services, while Sutel reviews applications for new licences. Sutel has recently handed over a report to the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energia y Telecomunicaciones (MINAET) on the use and assignation of radio frequencies in the country. The report will be used to assign wireless licences to two or three new operators.