RITI-Policy Working Hand-in-Hand with the Romanian Regulatory Authority

The Romanian National Regulatory Authority for Communications (ANRC) and Romania Information Technology Initiative (RITI)-Policy, implemented by Internews Network, continue their work to build a competitive telecommunications market in Romania.

Photo from the RITI-Policy Universal Service Obligations workshopRITI-Policy, whose offices are housed in the ANRC, works closely with the Regulatory Authority, bringing experienced perspectives and options, responding to urgent situations facing the ANRC, and demonstrating the impact of ANRC decisions on the competitive market.

Building Dispute Resolutions Mechanisms
A RITI-policy workshop during January 2003 resulted in mechanisms for interconnection disputes resolution being established. ANRC decisions have a direct influence on development of a competitive telecommunications market, and restricted access can be the unanticipated result of a dispute resolution. The ANRC legal and economic division staff who participated in the workshop are now more sensitive to the potential conflicts that can arise when dispute resolution is uncoordinated.

RITI Team: Jerker Torngren, Anca Argesiu and Bogdan Manolea. Interacting with the Private Sector
Creating a positive public profile and relations for the ANRC and the Ministry of Communications Technology, and Information (MCTI) was a workshop theme convened by RITI-policy in December 2003. As public relations are an ongoing process, RITI assists the ANRC to address stakeholder concerns as they arise. Meetings continue to be held with representatives from the private sector, to ensure they understand the issues faced by the Romanian Government and that the concerns of the private sector are properly represented in ANRC decisions.

Universal Service Obligations
RITI-policy is planning a major workshop on Universal Service Obligations, a key concern to the ANRC as the law is expected to be adopted in early March 2003. The Romanian government has recently decided to use a Universal Service Fund as a means to fund the investments and provision of services for which there is a net cost to the provider or operator.

ANRC Policy Development
Since November 2002, RITI-policy provided technical assistance to the Romanian Government on the following essential issues:
  • Tender process for issuing licenses for 3rd generation mobile networks. The Romanian Government will announce a tender process for 3G Mobile services by mid-2003. RITI staff continue to play a key role in advising the Government on many aspects of the tender process.
  • Reference Interconnection Offers (RIOs). As Romtelcom had a mandate to adopt a RIO by December 2002, RITI-Policy staff provided the ANRC with sample RIOs used by other regulators to guide them through the process of approving the Romtelcom RIO.
  • Time-stamping. As this practice is not usually regulated within Europe, RITI-Policy counseled the ANRC to avoid regulations that might result in overly restricting service providers. RITI-Policy takes a technology neutral position on what should be included in legislation, so that service providers can select their own solutions, provided general security requirements are fulfilled. The MCTI has not yet finalized its decision on time-stamping.
  • Calculations for termination charges set by ANRC on mobile networks. RITI-Policy is providing ongoing training to the ANRC on assessing the need for regulatory intervention on tariffing. This training helps empower the ANRC to make good judgments on when intervention is needed, and when market forces should make the initial correction.
  • The rights and obligations of providers of electronic communications networks and services. RITI-Policy is working with the ANRC on the draft General Authorization Document, addressing the rights and obligations of providers of electronic communications networks and services.
  • E-commerce legislation. RITI-Policy established a relationship with the Romanian Competition Authority, directing their attention on the new e-commerce legislation toward the recent Romanian commitments to international legislative standards. This information sharing reduces potential conflict between the ANRC and the Competition Authority. RITI-Policy, along with RITI-Access, reviews and commented on the e-commerce legislation and gather the reactions of relevant associations and businesses.
Screen shot from RITI-Policy website on Romanian IT news RITI-Policy Staff Share Experiences
The project has launched a website, http://www.riti-internews.ro. The website, available in both Romanian and English, shares crucial policy information, including:
  • Government of Romania approved ITC-related legislation and ANRC decisions
  • Current state of telecommunications market development in Romania.
  • Links to Government of Romania offices, and other ICT-related projects, associations, and businesses operating in Romania.
  • Updates and status of the RITI-Policy project activities.
During December 2002, the RITI-policy Director, Mr. Jerker Torngren, spoke on competition and dispute resolution at the Workshop for Southeast Europe's Leading Practioners, convened by the Commercial Law Development Program, Department of Commerce, in Washington, DC. Public and private sector representatives of eight SE region countries attended, making presentations on progress made toward telecommunications liberalization. Follow-on activities may include a series of regional workshops.

RITI-Policy Legal Advisor, Mr. Bogdan Manolea made a major presentation on freedom of speech and the Internet at a February 2003 conference celebrating the Internet in Romania, and the designation of the .ro domain name.

The RITI-Policy Project began on May 21st, 2002 and will run three years (Associate Cooperative Agreement No. 186-A-00-02-00101-00 under the dot-GOV Leader Award No. GDG-A-00-01-00009-00).

For More Information, Contact:
R. Jerker Torngren
Chief-of-Party, e-Government project
Internews Network

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