Table 6-2: Model 2 – Converged Regulator [6.1.1]

Advantages

Disadvantages

Staffing

  • Core of specialized professionals with strong set of engineering skills and knowledge of technical issues.
  • Converged electronic communications regulator meets the challenges posed by service convergence by bringing in related skills from across the communications sector (telecommunications, broadcasting, IT).

Internal Administration

  • This model is flexible in terms of internal administration of the regulator to meet market realities – by having all services under one regulator, the staff responsible for specific services can work with other parts of the regulator that are dealing with related issues.
  • A more consistent approach can be taken within the regulator as it adapts to changing technologies and their effect on legacy regulations.

Institutional Flexibility

  • The institutional issue is important in the context of convergence as this will determine the extent to which convergence is effectively reflected in laws, policy initiatives, and regulations – having a mirror image of such flexibility in the institutional design improves the regulatory process as a whole.

Cost of Regulation

  • As the regulatory mandate is broadened to accommodate convergence, fewer individual regulators are necessary, therefore bringing down the cost of overall regulation.

Staffing

  • Where different existing institutions are merged to create a converged regulator, issues may arise relating to duplication of staff.

Risk of Capture

  • Staff often originates from the only source of telecommunications experience – the incumbent – or from broadcasting entities and can be biased in favour of the incumbent and more subject to capture by such dominant forces, although probably less so than with a single-sector regulator.
  • Staff can also be seconded from government, which in the case of government still being a majority owner of the incumbent can lead to conflicts of interest and especially if staff is seconded from line ministry or Ministry of Finance.
  • Where the Law foresees reporting to the line ministry (Ministry of Communications), and this ministry oversees the different sectors included in the converged regulator a greater risk of political capture exists.
  • Lobbies can gain strength where they have interests across various sections of the communications industry.

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