The Department of Information and Communications Technology announced this week that it is currently deliberating on the new Broadcasting and Telecommunications Bill and expects that the draft will be complete by the end of June or July.
A notable feature of the Bill is that mobile operators will now be required to charge their subscribers according to a per-second billing model rather than per-minute as has been the case until now. Benjamin Choppy, Principal Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications, notes that while the Department has not received a large number of complaints from consumers, the government hopes to introduce regulations which align with global practices. Choppy added that international best practice requires that consumers should only be charged for actual usage rather than than for a minute.
The Bill is fairly comprehensive and covers many important areas including consumer protection, competition law, universal access, personal data protection and spectrum management, to name a few. A copy of the Bill may be found here.
Choppy stated that the Bill will likely be brought into effect in 2021 to allow operators time to prepare for the new regime. The Bill will replace the existing Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act of 2002 .