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EBRD supports telecoms sector in Kyrgyz Republic

Author(s):Press Office
Date:19 June 2007

Conference to discuss improvements of regulatory framework

As part of its ongoing support for the telecommunications sector in the Kyrgyz Republic, the EBRD is sponsoring a a conference in Bishkek on Thursday, June 21, 2007, in association with the National Communications Agency, the country’s telecommunications regulator. The conference will discuss forthcoming improvements to the regulatory framework governing how local operators interconnect with each other.

Stakeholders with an interest in improved and lower cost telecommunications services will meet to discuss proposed new interconnection rules. Participants include representatives from the National Communications Agency, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and other ministries, telecommunications network operators, user groups, NGOs and donors active in telecommunications-related work.

New interconnection rules are urgently required in the Kyrgyz Republic because the telecommunications sector has developed and changed significantly since the current regulations were adopted. The objective of the new framework is to improve the range and quality of services available, while reducing prices for subscribers.

The new rules are designed to ensure effective interconnection between the networks of individual telecommunications operators so that the Kyrgyz telecommunications infrastructure will work seamlessly and efficiently. The new rules set out obligations of all network operators to provide interconnection with other operators. They also include new procedures for the resolution of disputes, the treatment of confidential information, the enforcement of and compliance with regulatory obligations and the tariff regulations.

The new regulatory framework was prepared under the direction of a working group led by the National Communications Agency which also included representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and network operators. Assistance was provided by Great Village International Consultants and the international law firm McCarthy Tetrault, both based in Canada. The work was funded by the EBRD via its multi-donor Early Transition Countries Fund.

The new rules are currently in a draft form, and input provided by the conference will be used to finalise the regulations. The National Communications Agency intends to adopt the final rules in July 2007 and bring them into force in September 2007.

As part of an “Interconnection and Tariffing Project”, the EBRD is also funding the development of a new telecommunications costing model, a new tariff rebalancing schedule and new tariff rules. This work will assist the regulator in implementing required changes to the prices of telecommunications services, based on fair cost-based accounting methods which reflect international best practice.

A third component of the EBRD’s support is the funding of a separate project to assist sector stakeholders in developing a universal access policy and fund, and recently completed a demand study in six rural villages across Kyrgyz Republic. The study, presented at a conference in Bishkek in April 2007, highlighted that significant demand for telecommunications services exists in most small rural villages across the country. This demand, the study found, can be met on a profitable basis by commercial telecommunications operators in most villages. Funding for the universal access work is provided by the Government of Canada.

Last updated 19 June 2007

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