SPRK approves regulations for advisory council; extends Bite spectrum licence

10 Jun 2020

Latvian multi-sector watchdog the Public Utilities Commission (Sabiedrisko Pakalpojumu Regulesanas Komisija, SPRK) has approved regulations for the establishment of an advisory council that will provide recommendations on the SPRK’s operational strategy and suggest improvements for sectoral regulation. The council will feature representatives from the ministries of the regulated sectors as well from non-governmental organisations to advocate the interests of consumers and industry stakeholders. According to the regulator, the formation of the body aims to foster closer cooperation and improve the exchange of information and views between the SPRK, other supervisory authorities and social partners. Commenting on the move, SPRK Chairman Rolands Irklis was quoted as saying: ‘In our opinion, the idea of ​​establishing an advisory council is to be welcomed. We also look forward to the active involvement of our partners in receiving suggestions for improvements in our daily work. At the same time, it will be a common platform to jointly discuss issues that are relevant to the SPRK in the regulated sectors. This is especially important at times when significant changes in the regulation of sectors are planned, which affect the activities of merchants and the interests of service users.’

Separately, meanwhile, the SPRK has extended mobile provider Bite Latvia’s rights to use a 5MHz block of spectrum at 1900MHz-1905MHz until 28 June 2030. The extension is conditional on Bite’s continued usage of the frequencies, however. Under the terms of the extension, on 1 February every year the cellco must have at least one valid usage permit from the Electronic Communications Office (Elektroniskie Sakari, ESD) in each Latvian city with more than 20,000 permanent residents, i.e. the provider must have at least one site either active or under construction in each of the country’s major towns and cities.