Colombia debates bill to create convergent regulator

The Colombian Congress will debate this Tuesday the bill for the creation of a single convergent regulator, presented by the ICT Ministry last October but now with changes. According to El Espectador, public TV channels claim that the proposal would de-fund the model, while private industry defends it.
The initiative proposes to create a single regulator by merging the National Television Authority (ANTV) and the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC).
The managers of the regional channels and RTVC signed a letter in which they expressed their concern about the financing of public TV. The modified bill proposes to create a convergent fund to replace the current two: Fontv and Fontic (with the first public TV is financed). The letter mentions that the bill establishes a contribution of 1.96% of the income of providers of ICT and audiovisual services and this “could decrease by more than 60% the value of the contribution of pay TV in the Fontv” According to the letter, there would be a decrease in resources of Co$ 123 billion (USD 42.6 million) only in 2019.
In turn, the telecommunications industry, represented by the associations Asotic, Andesco, Asiet, Asomovil and CCIT, issued a statement in which they stated, “this Bill does not eliminate or weaken public television in the country. On the contrary, it seeks to guarantee resources for it, with a minimum amount of approximately Co $ 1.8 billion for the next ten years.”
“In audiovisual matters, the financing of public television will also benefit, since resources would be guaranteed for the various universal access projects – such as the development of social DTT and DTH throughout the national territory – and the development of content from programming for RTVC and regional channels for the next ten years, “they said.
The statement concludes that “the bill does not cancel public television. On the contrary, in a context of convergence, it creates a fund with greater muscle, efficiency and sources of financing that guarantee its future sustainability “.
“In audiovisual terms, the financing of public television will also benefit, since resources would be guaranteed for the various universal access projects – such as the development of social DTT and DTH throughout the national territory – and the development of programming for RTVC and regional channels for the next ten years,” they said.
The statement concludes, “The bill does not cancel public television. On the contrary, in a context of convergence, it creates a fund with greater muscle, efficiency and financing sources that guarantee its future sustainability”.
Angela María Mora Soto, director of the ANTV, will participate in the next edition of NexTV Series Colombia, the leading conference organized by Dataxis, to be held on June 7 at the Convention Center of the Tequendama Hotel in Bogotá.