Business Times

TRC Act to be amended

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) is gearing to amend its Act in a bid to keep up with the change in new technologies, according to an official.

“We had discussions with the Attorney’s General Department (AG) and will send a draft to them after finalizing the amendments,” Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General TRC told the Sunday Times FT.
He said the new Act will discuss interconnect regimes, licensing systems, and the convergence of media in detail. “With this Act, the regulator will have a better control in the industry,” he said.

He said that such a move is needed as Sri Lanka is moving towards a fully liberalized telecommunications market environment. At present there are four Fixed Access Operators, five Cellular Mobile Operators, six Data Communications and Internet Service Providers (facility based), 23 Data and Internet Service Providers (Non facility based) and 32 External Gateway Operators.

The telecommunication sector consists of approximately 1.9 million fixed line access subscribers, 5.4 million Cellular subscribers, and 0.13 million Data communication (Internet and Email) connections and 7500 public pay phones spread across the country. In such an environment, an amendment to the TRC Act is very important,” he noted.

He said that there is a lack of a seamless interconnection regime, inefficient usage of the allocated frequencies, lack of a coordinated plan in implementing the Universal Service Obligation or universal access requirements all of which need to be addressed.

“There is a wide disparity between urban and rural areas in the country in terms of the availability of telecommunications facilities, which we hope to address as well,” he said.

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