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JAMAICA | House passes bill validating Spectrum Regulatory Fees

KINGSTON, July 18, 2018 - The House of Representatives this week passed a bill validating the powers of the Spectrum Management Authority (the Authority) to calculate, impose and collect fees from Group 2 Level One users of the country’s radio spectrum.
Under the heading, ‘Schedule of fees-Regulatory fees’, on the Spectrum Management Authority website,the descriptor Group 2 Level One user refers to all cellular companies, i.e. mobile operators. In piloting the legislation, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, told the house the

bill also seeks to protect the authority against any action taken by those users aggrieved at being overcharged for use of the spectrum.

Minister Wheatley told the house that the bill became necessary after the authority, calculated, imposed and collected fees from the users, in excess of the sum imposed by regulations passed in 2017.

Those 2017 regulations, which factored the annual rate of inflation in the calculation of the sums due to the authority, set down the formula to be used in determining the fees to be paid for use of the spectrum.

The Spectrum Management Authority (“SMA” or “the Authority”) is an agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology. It was established in 2000 pursuant to the Telecommunications Act, 2000 and became operational in April 2001.

The SMA is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum and is an advisory body to the Minister with principal responsibility for telecommunications, who has responsibility for the regulation of the spectrum under the Act.

All licensees, excepting those under the eight exempted categories, are required to pay annual regulatory fees to cover the reasonable operating costs of the authority in relation to spectrum licences.

  • Countries: Jamaica

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