WTO reference paper on basic telecommunications1
The following are definitions and principles on the regulatory framework for the basic telecommunications services.
Users mean service consumers and service suppliers.
Essential facilities mean facilities of a public telecommunications transport network or service that
A major supplier is a supplier which has the ability to materially affect the terms of participation (having regard to price and supply) in the relevant market for basic telecommunications services as a result of:
Appropriate measures shall be maintained for the purpose of preventing suppliers who, alone or together, are a major supplier from engaging in or continuing anti-competitive practices.
The anti-competitive practices referred to above shall include in particular:
2.1 This section applies to linking with suppliers providing public telecommunications transport networks or services in order to allow the users of one supplier to communicate with users of another supplier and to access services provided by another supplier, where specific commitments are undertaken.
Interconnection with a major supplier will be ensured at any technically feasible point in the network. Such interconnection is provided:
The procedures applicable for interconnection to a major supplier will be made publicly available.
It is ensured that a major supplier will make publicly available either its interconnection agreements or a reference interconnection offer.
A service supplier requesting interconnection with a major supplier will have recourse, either:
Any Member has the right to define the kind of universal service obligation it wishes to maintain. Such obligations will not be regarded as anti-competitive per se, provided they are administered in a transparent, non-discriminatory and competitively neutral manner and are not more burdensome than necessary for the kind of universal service defined by the Member.
Where a licence is required, the following will be made publicly available:
The reasons for the denial of a licence will be made known to the applicant upon request.
The regulatory body is separate from, and not accountable to, any supplier of basic telecommunications services. The decisions of and the procedures used by regulators shall be impartial with respect to all market participants.
Any procedures for the allocation and use of scarce resources, including frequencies, numbers and rights of way, will be carried out in an objective, timely, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. The current state of allocated frequency bands will be made publicly available, but detailed identification of frequencies allocated for specific government uses is not required.