Algeria’s new Minister of Post, IT and Communications, Houda Imane Faraoun, has disclosed that a new postal and telecoms bill will be drafted by the end of the year, Tout sur l’Algerie reports. The proposed legislation will replace Telecom Law 03-2000 of 5 August 2000, which provided for the establishment of state-owned fixed line operator Algerie Telecom (AT) as the country’s sole fixed line operator. Some of the proposed changes include an obligation for AT to open its unbundled local loops to alternative operators; under the current law, the incumbent operator is not obliged to provide its competitors with access to its network infrastructure. The first draft of the bill could be presented to the government by the end of 2015.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2012 the Algerian Council of Ministers approved revisions to the telecoms law which, if passed by parliament, would enable third-party providers to offer broadband services using AT’s network. The government submitted the amendment bill to the National People’s Congress (NPC) in February 2013, though it was subsequently withdrawn from the NPC without adoption in October. Meanwhile, the lack of local loop unbundling (LLU) was arguably the main reason behind the demise of second national operator (SNO) Lacom in November 2008, with the company required to roll out its own fixed-wireless access network (contributing to its financial woes) rather than being allowed to use unbundled local loops from the incumbent.