New communication sector fees

01 January 2009 sees the entry into force of the new regime of fees resulting from Administrative Rule no. 1473-B/2008 of 17 December, which sets the fees provided for by article 105 of Law no. 5/2004 of 10 February, specifically those due in respect of the issue of declarations giving proof of the rights, issued by ANACOM as national regulatory authority, for the exercise of the activity of supplier of electronic communication networks and services, through the allocation and reservation of rights to use frequencies and numbers and through the use of the radio spectrum and numbers.

The same Administrative Rule includes the amounts due to ANACOM for the use of the amateur radiocommunications services and personal radio - citizen band, for the installation of telecommunications infrastructure in buildings (ITED), for the provision of audiotext service and the exercise of the postal activity.

The intention of this new legislation is to create, from the outset, a transversal sector regime which governs all the fees due to ANACOM in a coherent way, the institutionalization of which fees was previously enacted through a range of administrative rules and orders, some of which have since been partially amended and repealed.

The new fee regime of the communications sector governs, in summary, the following:

1 - Fees with orientation to cost. The amount of the fees will now be calculated according to the administrative costs incurred as a result of the management, control and application of the general authorisation regime, as well as the allocation of the rights to use frequencies and numbers, in addition to the work of regulation which is involved in the preparation and execution of derived legislation and administrative decisions, whereby imposition shall be objective, transparent and proportionate. It should be noted that the fees in respect of the exercise of supplier of electronic communication services and networks are set according to the relevant revenues of the respective entities.

2 - Fees based on the need to ensure the optimum use of resources (frequencies and numbers). Effective and efficient use of numbers must be guaranteed and as a consequence resources need to managed in a way which reflects their intrinsic value, with the application of the principle of ''occupier-payer'' where the amount of fees is proportional to the volume of resource for which the usage rights are allocated or reserved and not dependent on the volume of resources which are actually used or activated. Also with the aim of optimum use of frequencies, the approach adopted for calculating the fees applicable to the use of the radio spectrum is based on the spectrum allocated, insofar as the cost supported does not depend on the level of use. It is also an objective to discourage the retention of quantities of spectrum which are surplus to requirements.

This new tariff model also provides for a transition period of 2 to 5 years - in this last case, for the use of frequencies by radio and television broadcasting operators - in order to enable the phased application of the new fee levels.