TRA to study next-gen ICT rules
Seef district, August 13, 2014
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in Bahrain has commissioned a joint study with Strategy& (formerly Booz&Co) to study next-generation regulations governing ICT sector.
The study titled “Rethinking ICT regulation: Regulators’ essential role in capturing the full potential of the ICT sector”, aims to assess the importance of regulation in the new digital environment and understand the evolution requirements for regulatory frameworks, a statement said.
The challenge for regulators is to rethink their regulations while recognising that as their countries become more digitally sophisticated, so the regulation’s effect and influence diminishes. If they are to promote an innovative and robust ICT ecosystem, and protect broader national interests, they should begin by examining three key areas: market efficiency, scarcity management, and safeguarding customer welfare.
The telecom segment, which is at the core of ICT, has changed from primarily focusing on infrastructure and basic connectivity to promoting a broad range of digitisation-related services, including cloud computing and smart meters, it said.
Companies in the sector have also evolved, from licensed telecom operators to a complex ecosystem of stakeholders, including over-the-top providers and device manufacturers. Policymakers have followed suit, moving their focus from establishing a liberalised, competitive marketplace to developing an innovative and economically vibrant ICT sector.
In addition, regulators will need to derive lessons from other segments. For ICT the most relevant lessons are that innovation drives regulation and that regulators need to intervene when non-regulated activities start negatively affecting customer welfare as these create risks in regulated markets, said a statement.
For the Middle East, this implies a digitisation-focused approach in which regulation provides ongoing oversight and monitoring of critical ICT and digital markets as they evolve across industries, it said. – TradeArabia News Service