The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has opened consultations into the provision of universal services and the designation of broadband as a universal service. The regulator says the consultation aims to examine the scope of the universal service, in particular in relation to the obligations to be met by the designated undertaking. The current universal services commitments include the provision of connection at a fixed location and functional internet access, public payphones, comprehensive electronic directory services, specific measures for vulnerable users, special tariffs for low income and people with social needs, and services to enable consumers to control their expenditure.
The regulator intends to expand the universal service obligations to specify the ‘minimum functional characteristics of an adequate broadband internet access service’. The MCA recently revealed that incumbent fixed line provider GO had claimed EUR66,438 (USD79,216) to cover the provision of universal services in 2016.