Change of leadership to add more bite to watchdog’s bark

31 Jan 2014

Pedro Huichalaf, set to replace Jorge Atton to become Chile’s new Undersecretary of Telecommunications in early March when president-elect Michelle Bachelet takes office, is planning to strengthen the powers of sector regulator Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel), as well as increasing the number of staff employed by the watchdog, La Nacion reports. Huichalaf will be charged with implementing the new government’s proposals to change the law to toughen penalties for telcos and simplify the process for customers to register complaints regarding poor quality of service. Also on the agenda are plans to increase transparency in customer contracts and eliminate any unfair terms. More urgently, however, the incoming official will have to field complaints from Entel regarding Subtel’s recent approval of a 73% decrease in mobile termination rates (MTRs) over the next five years.