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Mexico may issue new telecom interconnection rules in February
[January 24, 2013]

Mexico may issue new telecom interconnection rules in February

(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mexico City, Jan 24 (EFE).- New guidelines for the interconnection fees that Mexican telecommunications companies charge each other could be published in early February, regulators said.

Telecommunications regulator Cofetel said Wednesday it is ready to send regulatory watchdog agency Cofemer requested information pertaining to the guidelines, which are intended to ensure fair access for all market competitors.

Those observations are to be incorporated into the so-called Interconnection Framework Accord, which establishes rules for the rates that the companies, including fixed-line giant Telmex, charge other operators to carry calls on their networks.

Cofetel said it will deliver its response so that in a period of five working days Cofemer may issue a final document on the rules, which would then take effect upon publication in Mexico's Official Gazette.

In 2006, authorities and the telecommunications companies signed the so-called Convergence Agreement, which spells out the conditions telecommunications firms must meet to offer triple play (television, Internet and telephone) service, including "non-discriminatory" interconnection rates and service.

One of the conditions is approval by all parties of the Interconnection Framework Accord, which began to be prepared in 2011 and was sent a year later to Cofemer.

That agency requested additional information from Cofetel to respond to questions formulated in a public consultation process.

Telmex has raised objections to the draft accord, saying rules requiring it to charge low fees for access to its vast landline network - which serves more than 16 million subscribers - would not allow it to recoup its high investment costs.

Telmex - a unit of Mexico City-based wireless giant America Movil, controlled by multi-billionaire Carlos Slim - will not be obligated to adhere to the new rules but acceptance of them is seen as crucial to its bid to obtain a pay TV license. EFE jrm/mc (c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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