The Benefits Of A Regulator...If It Ever Comes
On June 10 2013, less than a week before a court ruling on an amendment of electoral law that could prematurely shut down Kuwait's National Assembly, the house voted unanimously in favour of a law to establish an independent telecommunications regulatory authority. Kuwait is the only country in the GCC that does not yet have a separate telecoms regulatory body, and BMI believes this is a crucial step for the development of the country's telecoms sector, especially in terms of encouraging investment in the country's underperforming fixed broadband segment.
Although Kuwait first announced its intention to establish a telecoms regulator in 2001, until now there had been little news on the subject. According to the Kuwait Times, the regulator will be responsible for organising the mobile, fixed-line and internet sectors. The government has not revealed any more details on the commission's powers and responsibilities.
Since 1962, when it was first established, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has been responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector in Kuwait. While the MoC has allowed competition to develop in the mobile and broadband sectors, as the owner of the national fixed-line operator, Kuwait Public Telecoms (KPT), it has maintained a monopoly in the fixed-line sector. This has had a negative impact on the development of advanced fibre-optic infrastructure in Kuwait's fixed-line and fixed broadband sectors.
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