Question 18-2/1 Enforcing national policies and regulations on consumer protection notably in a converging environment

1 Statement of the situation


  1. the importance of national regulatory authorities (NRAs) for telecommunications/ICT to have adequate legal authority and experience to enforce their domestic laws, rules and regulations on telecommunications;

  2. that effective enforcement is a critical component of safeguarding the public interest;

  3. that effective enforcement of laws can help protect consumers, ensure service quality, public safety and sustainability of supply of services;

  4. that effective enforcement can also guard the supply of communications services from interference, foster the efficient use of spectrum, and promote competition, growth, and investment in the sector;

  5. the realities of convergence and its impact on regulation and consumers,

considering further

  1. that the study carried out over the last study cycle built on and encompassed the findings previously made on basic enforcement issues including appropriate national legislation, practice and procedure, and sanctions;

  2. that the study carried out over the last study cycle addressed ;common enforcement challenges faced by NRAs, specifically describing enforcement practices in selected countries, covering competition, interconnection, spectrum, consumers, network infrastructure (site) sharing, quality of service, and network security;

  3. that the study proposes a number of guidelines that are applicable in diverse circumstances and will assist Member States in their efforts to enforce their national telecommunications laws;

  4. however, the studies on consumer protection should be completed;

  5. that Member States would benefit from a report which sets out the various resources, strategies, and tools available to improve enforcement of their national laws, rules and regulations governing consumer protection notably in a converging environment.

2 Question or issue for study

To describe the organizational methods and successful practices employed by NRAs as they enforce their national laws, rules and regulations governing consumer protection notably in a converging environment.

3 Expected output

  1. A report to the membership presenting guidelines to assist Member States in their efforts to address a number of issues that represent common challenges for an NRA.

  2. The report will reflect best practice guidelines for regulatory authorities for enforcing national laws, rules, and regulations relating to consumer protection notably in a converging environment.

4 Timing

An interim report will be presented to the study group in 2012. This study is proposed to last up to 2014, when a final report will be submitted.

5 Proposers/Sponsors

ITU-D Study Group 1, through TDAG, proposes the continuation of this Question as here modified.

6 Sources of input

  1. Contributions from Member States, Sector Members and interested international organizations, such as OECD.

  2. Surveys/interviews.

  3. Regulatory information available through BDT.

  4. Websites of national regulatory authorities for telecommunication/ICT worldwide.

  5. Relevant work currently being undertaken in ITU-T and ITU-R.

  6. Other relevant sources.

7 Target audience


Developed countries

Developing countries1

Telecom policy-makers



Telecom regulators



Service providers/operators





a) Target audience who will specifically use the output

All national regulatory authorities for telecommunication/ICT, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries.

b) Proposed methods for the implementation of the results

a) Electronic distribution of the report and guidelines to all Member States and their respective NRAs;

b) Distribution of the report and guidelines at the Global Regulators' Symposium and relevant BDT seminars.

8 Proposed methods of handling the Question or issue

a) How?

1) Within a study group: X

Question (over a multi-year study period) 

2) Within regular BDT activity:

Programmes X

Projects 

Expert consultants 

3) In other ways describe (e.g. regional, within other organizations,
jointly with other organizations, etc.) 

b) Why?

Within Study Group [X].

A study group provides the best vehicle for the widest participation by developing countries both in the work of the Question and in shaping the outcome best practice guidelines.

9 Coordination

This Question should be coordinated with ITU-D Programme 1, and Broadband Access Questions proposed for 2011-2014 in Study Group [X].

10 BDT Programme Link

ITU-D Programme 1.

11 Other relevant information

As may become apparent within the life of this Question.

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1  This includes also least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and countries with economies in transition.