SINGAPORE – 05 JAN 2021
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) today launched a second public consultation to seek views on the draft Code of Practice for Competition in the Provision of Telecommunication and Media Services (“Code”) (“Second Public Consultation”). The Code aims to promote fair and efficient competition, enhance consumer protection and improve regulatory clarity to encourage licensees to develop new and innovative services.
The first public consultation took place in February 2019 and industry players were invited to share their views on how to align the rules and regulations of the media and telecommunication industry, through the harmonisation of the Code of Practice for Competition in the Provision of Telecommunication Services 2012 and the Code of Practice for Market Conduct in the Provision of Media Services (“First Public Consultation”).
Industry players were largely supportive of the proposed policy positions and their comments have been reviewed and incorporated into the draft Code, where appropriate. The second public consultation will allow industry players to review the draft Code and share their comments with IMDA.
Both consumers and licensees are expected to benefit from the harmonised Code.
Consumers’ interest, for example, will be better protected by a common set of consumer protection rules to increase transparency and facilitate resolution of disputes. These consumer protection rules include: (i) restricting detrimental mid-contract changes by all telecommunication licensees; (ii) enhancing transparency of billing information by requiring a list of minimum billing information in end users’ bills; and (iii) strengthening consumers’ understanding of contractual terms by requiring all telecommunication licensees to provide a Critical Information Summary which summarises the key terms and conditions to consumers at the point of subscription.
Licensees will benefit from a harmonised and streamlined set of regulatory requirements to ensure fair competition in the telecommunication and media markets; and an updated set of regulations to keep pace with technological advancements and market developments. The proposed revisions will provide greater market certainty and business flexibility for licensees to innovate and offer new services, potentially bringing about greater benefits for consumers.
The public consultation will begin today, 5 January 2021, and will close on 2 March 2021 [8 weeks after launch]. Full details of the public consultation are available here.