Nº 6 2013 > Global Symposium for Regulators
Bahrain to host Global Symposium for Regulators in 2014
In 2014, the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR‑14) will be held in Bahrain. Mohammed Al Amer, Chairman of Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Chairman of GSR‑14 invited all participants to next year’s event. The following topics were proposed for discussion at GSR‑14:
- Over-the-top players and net neutrality
- Regulatory impact assessment — learning from OECD guidelines
- Review of the structure of the Global Regulators-Industry Dialogue (GRID) and the length of both GRID and GSR meetings
- Consumer protection in the context of technological development, migration from analogue to digital broadcasting and the needed regulatory framework
- Convergence and innovation — which business models?
- How regulators can contribute to enhancing competition between operators
- Leveraging existing ITU databases and tools to facilitate and assess regulatory tools
- How developed countries can assist developing countries in addressing regulatory challenges in dealing with advanced technologies
- Converged regulators and regulation, in particular in the area of content and the merging of broadcasting and telecommunications
- Converged services — how to regulate cable service provision
- Universal access — how to use the funds and subsidies collected through universal service funds
- Development of a manual to help countries in setting up universal service funds
- Establishment of mechanisms to evaluate conferences.
Speakers at the closing session stressed that both cable operators and broadcasting regulators should be part of the GSR discussion, and that training for regulators is needed as a way of achieving tangible results. There was general agreement that it is important to continue discussing convergence of regulatory bodies, and for regulators to take a coordinated approach because they regulate operators that are often present in many markets. New monopolies may arise from convergence or mergers between players, in particular in the area of broadcasting and media groups (content and copyright). Exclusive transmission rights, for example for football games, can kill competition. This type of situation should be discussed, while at the same time looking into the kind of international cooperation that already exists.