Despite the complaint filed a year ago against the Superintendence of Telecommunications (SUTEL) by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), because since the market opening in 2009 the institution has failed to define relevant markets and designate other major operators, this process remains unfinished.
In the current scenario, ICE is the only dominant operator, which is why it is also the only one that can be sanctioned for anti-competitive practices and for obligations not required from other operators, making it less competitive.
The lawsuit filed by ICE in August 2015 claimed that SUTEL should “determine the operators and major suppliers in the telecommunications markets and impose preliminary regulatory obligations,” said Jaime Palermo, Telecommunications Manager.
And while SUTEL and the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (ARESEP) answered the complaint, ICE has not received a notification for the preliminary hearing.
We stress the importance of good regulations, because the delay in clarifying these omissions places ICE in an environment of legal uncertainty and discrimination in relation to other operators,”
said Palermo, who claims that only ICE is required to give access to their networks, develop a reference interconnection offer and stick to the Regulatory Accounting Manual, among others. In his view, the telecommunications market is outdated since 2011.
In October 2015, the Court ruled in favor ICE’s complaint and gave SUTEL a deadline to review the relevant telecommunications markets and define operators and major suppliers.
SUTEL responded with a report on December 2015, but the judges felt the omission was not corrected, so they granted SUTEL and ARESEP a period of 30 working days to respond.
SUTEL responded again last April and ARESEP on August, while ICE is awaiting the call for the preliminary hearing in court.