Senate pass telecom bill in 2nd reading
By: L.N. Reklai
December 5, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Senate passed the Palau Telecom bill in its second reading yesterday after only passing it last week in its first reading.
House version of the bill was extensively modified before passing to Senate last week. Senate has been working on its own version the bill. [restrict]
Senate, in the bill’s second reading, removed PNCC from tax exempt status, added a universal access fee of 15% of the gross receipts to be charged to all providers including PNCC and the language making a Telecommunications section of MPIIC a bureau with a Director to be appointed by the President.
The bureau will receive the proceeds from Universal Access Fee and use that to pay the RUS loan.
Interconnection rates will be set by PNCC in a contract with other providers.
Both Senate and House versions extensively modified the original bill which aimed to create an independent regulatory entity, liberalize the market place and push for shared access by cutting down protective measures against incumbent provider.
House version articulated its view of the telecom industry clearly as providing affordable and quality service to Palau and maintaining Palau’s hold and ownership of the industry. Senate position merges with House version with these changes adopted in the second reading of the bill. [/restrict]