Group Projects

Network Policy

Seble Ethiopia Habtezion | Judy Ossello

Network Policy of the Networked Readiness for Argentina and Brazil mainly concentrates on two topics- 'Telecommunication Regulation' and 'Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Trade Policies' which we focused on during our site visits and reinforced through additional research upon our return.

Telecommunications Regulation and Trade Policy for Argentina
The privatization of telecommunication in Argentina happened during 1990's. At the federal level, the government of Argentina allowed two private firms to take over the public telecommunication (ENTel) by dividing the country into two operational regions. The two private firms are Telefonica de Argentina and Telecom Argentina. The northern part of the country is serviced by Telecom Argentina, while southern is serviced by Telefonica Argentina. Dividing the city into equal service parts, both of Telefonica and Telecom companies operate in the city of Buenos Aires. Regulation and telecommunication policy in Argentina is still not finished today. There are major flaws in the regulatory law and policy. Some private International telecommunication companies have withdrawn from operating in the country due to flaws, bad reputation, as well as inconsistent rules and practices from the independent regulating government agencies.

The current environment for the development of IT-enabled services in Argentina is not favorable. ICT trade has suffered in Argentina as a result of a severe recession and political instability requiring a dependence on hard currencies and operating with an income in devalued pesos. With so much instability, the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is not adequate for maintaining the growth and stability Argentina enjoyed before the recession. As our group witnessed during our visit to AT Kearney, a management consulting office with specializations in e-Procurement, the empty desks signified a reduced workforce with little opportunity for relief, despite the company's excellent reputation and IT infrastructure.

Telecommunications Regulation and Trade Policy for Brazil
The regulation of Brazil's telecommunication market includes three main players, Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Anatel), Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (Cade), and the Ministry of Communication. The Ministry of Communication determines overall telecommunications policy, and Anatel, a financially and administratively independent agency, handles the regulation of telecommunications with guidelines that address applications, infrastructure, and services. Cade assesses telecommunications policy and regulation to ensure fair competition within various business sectors. Many of these infrastructure goals were addressed by the General Telecommunications Law in 1997, which divided Telebras into eight service providers in eight regions within Brazil. Current plans to accelerate public sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure include the development of a National Information Infrastructure to support private sector investment and heighten competition in the ISP sector.

The Brazilian Government is actively implementing projects and programs to make the Brazilian economy more competitive while helping to increase the awareness and education of the general public on the access of ICT. One of the main goals of policy makers in Brazil is to reduce the imports of ICT products and to expand, encourage and diversify the country's exports of ICT products. During our visit to the Committee for Democracy in Information Technology (CDI), Mr. Rodrigo Baggio mentioned that importing used PC's and computers can be expensive for non-profit, self-managed, community-based organization like CDI. The government has implemented policies to discourage the import of ICT products. A world trade report notes that the Brazilian government has recently restricted selected imports and support exports.