Anatel rubber stamps new rules for rural fixed telephony services

12 Aug 2013

Brazilian telecoms regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) has approved new rules governing the provision of fixed telephony services to rural and remote (interior) parts of the country. The new rules, which fall under the remit of the watchdog’s ‘Regulation on the Provision of the Fixed Switched Telephone Service (STFC) outside the Basic Tariff Area – Rural Service’, are designed to cover the regulation and delivery of fixed line services in rural parts of the country, with a focus on providing improved customer care. It is understood that under Anatel’s new rules, a range of pre- and post-paid tariff plans will be made available, with prices to be determined by the regulator. Further, the supply of fixed telephony services in these remote/interior parts of the country will be mandatory for all authorised telcos (i.e. fixed concessionaires) up to a range of 30km from the centre of a town or municipality, while further afield, fixed service providers will need to secure approval from Anatel for their pricing plans vis-a-vis supporting coverage in these areas. The delivery of services is likely to be made via fixed-wireless technology operating in the 451MHz to 458MHz, and 461MHz to 468MHz frequency bands. Finally, in order to preserve the economic viability of rural services under the STFC, service providers will be required to bill all calls made by customers living in their entire franchised area as a ‘local’ call.