On 22 June 2020, ANACOM disclosed the Report on Regulation, Supervision and Other Activities in 2019. Giving expression to the Activities Plan 2019-2021, ANACOM's action in 2019 focused on its various areas of intervention: defence of consumer rights and interests; studies on the market and access to networks, infrastructures and services; spectrum management; market supervision and oversight; sanctioning activity; and international representation. The key objectives were to protect the rights and interests of the consumers and all other end users, and ensure a competitive market, crucial for the development of electronic and postal communications, bearing in mind the need to guarantee the territorial cohesion of Portugal and the appropriate meeting of the needs of the different types of users.
In 2019, special reference should be made to all the work developed with a view to the definition of a framework to promote the implementation of 5G, which is fundamental to pursue the country's coverage with broadband Internet, which has been revealed as essential for the development of the digital economy and society and for the promotion of territorial cohesion. Co-investment and sharing of infrastructures, namely the possibility of using national roaming in specific circumstances, emerge as important instruments to accelerate the country's coverage with broadband networks and boost the appearance of new offers and services, while at the same time promoting the sustainability of the necessary investment.
With a view to the adoption of 5G, the release of the 700 MHz band was a priority. The definition of the timing and preparation of the process of migration of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting network to release this band implied intense activity in 2019, with the definition of all the necessary measures to ensure the least impact possible for the population that watches DTT. In order to prepare the process, that started in 2020, ANACOM carried out a pilot test, on 27 November 2019, which consisted of switching the frequency of the Odivelas Centro broadcaster. The aim was to test the efficacy of all the measures considered by ANACOM, under its direct management and control, to support the population in this process. ANACOM provided the public with a call centre to support the population, with a toll free number; formed technical teams to provide assistance to the population in the field; launched a huge communication plan which included meetings with city, town and parish councils, and clarification sessions with the general public; organised a roadshow throughout all the parishes covered by the pilot; and sent pamphlets to all the residences and trade establishments of the region affected by the pilot. The pilot test was successful, demonstrating the efficacy of the measures taken by ANACOM.
Moreover, it is important to highlight other crucial activities carried out by ANACOM in 2019 to promote the development of the sector:
- Concerning the defence of the interests and rights of the consumers and all other users, particular note should be made of the draft amendment of the Electronic Communications Lawhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=975162 (LCE), submitted to the Government and Parliament, which, among various measures, recommends changing the rules on the early notice of termination of binding contracts. Here, we also highlight ANACOM's decision which determines that telecommunications operators must provide, free of charge, to subscribers that request this, an invoice which includes the minimum details and information defined by ANACOM, irrespective of the format and means used. Regarding prices, the decrease of the maximum retail prices of calls made to numbers starting with “707” and “708” was approved. A portability validation code was also created (CVP), which makes the process of changing operator, keeping the same telephone number, faster and more expedite, thus reducing the cases of rejection of portability requests. The increased speed of access to the Internet that the operators must provide in the parishes that they undertook to cover following the 4G auction was also decided. Finally, special note should be made of the signing of agreements with seven consumer dispute arbitration centres (CACC), aimed at making the resolution of disputes with communication operators simpler and faster. This is a very important aspect, in a sector that is characterised by high levels of conflictuality and consumer claims;
- During the year, intensive activity was also developed in relation to the universal postal service: ANACOM determined that CTT should implement a series of changes aimed at making the system of measurement of the quality indicators of the universal postal service more reliable and robust, and defined new rules on matters of density of the postal network and minimum offer of services. This Authority also determined that CTT should correct the information that it gives to its customers at post offices about the book of complaints, and reduced the capital cost rate applicable to CTT, for the financial year of 2018, thus contributing to more prices in postal communications. The mechanism of compensation due to non-compliance with two quality of service indicators of the universal postal service in 2018 was also applied to CTT. And, at the end of November, ANACOM launched a public consultation on the provision of the universal postal service, in order to obtain comments on the terms and conditions that should be associated to this service, considering that the end of the current concession contract is approaching;
- With a view to promoting competition, various measures taken by ANACOM in 2019 merit highlighting: access to MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia, S.A. (MEO) by other operators was simplified, through the streamlining of the procedures established in wholesale offers of access to conduits (ORAC) and access to posts (ORAP); in particular this concerns the reduction of the installation period stipulated in the ORAC and simplification of the process. The process was launched with a view to the approval of a Regulation that defines the conditions applicable to the sub-allocation of numbering resources, so as to enable some electronic communications services providers to use, by agreement, the numbers that this Authority allocates to other providers in the offer of the same service. The draft Regulation on the methodology to be used to determine the value of remuneration payable by electronic communications companies as consideration for access to and use of infrastructure suitable for accommodating electronic communications networks was also approved. Concerning the security of the communications, the Regulation on the Security and Integrity of Electronic Communications Networks and Services” was approved, which establishes the rules that companies offering public communications networks or electronic communications services accessible to the public should follow. Regarding prices, the decrease of the maximum prices of the circuits between Mainland Portugal and Autonomous Regions of the Azores and da Madeira and inter-islands was approved. Special reference is also made to the work carried out by ANACOM throughout the year, as chair of the working group “aimed at studying and analysing the most suitable technical and financial configuration for the timely replacement of the submarine cables carrying Mainland Portugal-Azores-Madeira connections”, which culminated in December with the delivery of the final report to the Government.
During 2019, a year in which particular reference is made to its chairing of the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP), ANACOM also pursued its regular activity of monitoring the spectrum and market oversight, litigation and administrative offences, public attendance and provision of information to consumers, publication of statistics, as well as collaboration and dialogue, both at a domestic level with the Portuguese Parliament, Government, regional governments and local authorities, and abroad, with other regulators and groups of regulators.
We also highlighting the work carried out by ANACOM, as delineated in its plan, with a view to transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code (CECE), planned to take place by December 2020.
As the Space Authority, ANACOM approved the Regulation relative to the arrangement for access and pursuit of space activities.
- Report on Regulation, Supervision and Other Activities 2019 https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1545281