Telecoms reform bill passed by Mexican lower house

22 Mar 2013

Mexico’s Federal Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the bicameral National Congress, has reportedly voted overwhelmingly in favour of telecoms sector reforms that were proposed earlier this month. According to the Financial Times, in a vote on the issue the bill was approved by 414 votes to 50.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, under the proposals the government is calling for the creation of a new telecoms regulator – the Federal Telecommunications Institute (FTI) – which will have the power to order those companies adjudged to dominate their market to sell off assets. The new entity would also be able to limit companies from seeking to stall competition through continued litigation, with special courts expected to deal with regulatory disputes, and prohibit companies from blocking regulatory decisions though legal means while they are being challenged in court. In addition, the state’s proposals will lift restrictions on foreign ownership on companies providing fixed line telecommunication services, while the government is planning to set up a state-run carrier of carriers with a view to ensuring it meets its target of ensuring 70% of homes and 85% of businesses have access to the internet.