I. Overview

In the Dominican Republic (DR), all issues related to telecommunications are governed under Law 153-08. The Telecommunication Law of May 27th of 1998 regulating the installation, maintenance and operation of networks, the rendering of services and the provision of telecommunication equipment.

The Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL), is the authority in charge of overseeing and regulating all the telecommunication matters within the Dominican Republic.

According to Law 153-98, the INDOTEL has for functions:  the elaboration of Regulations and norms; the regulation of telecommunication services; the granting of, extension of and revoking of concessions and licences; prevention and correction of anti-competitive practices within market of telecommunication; the management and administration of resources related to satellites and its corresponding frequency bands; administrate, manage and control the use of  the radio-electric spectrum  and among other functions established by Law.

Pursuant Law 158-98, any communication, information or data emitted by the means of a telecommunication services is deemed to be secret and inviolable, with the exception of when an intervention has been authorised by Court in specific cases established by Law.

II. Telecommunication Services

According to Law 153-98, the telecommunication services are classified in:  a) Carrier services; b) End services or teleservices; c) Value added services; and d) Transmission services.

Carrier services supply the capacity necessary to transport the signals between two defined network termination points, which permit the rendering of other public or private telecommunications services. Carrier services can be local, domestic long distance, and international long distance and the leasing of links or circuits is considered to be a carrier service.

End services or teleservices supply the complete capacity to make possible communication between users, while Value added services use carrier services, end services, or transmission services, and add or contribute some characteristic or facility to the service which serves as base.

Transmission services can be radio broadcast or televised, public or private and can be of transmission service or cable transmission services.

Finally, Special Register registration is required to operate services of amateur radio, mobile aeronautical, private telecommunications, mobile maritime and satellites. Such registrations should be made before INDOTEL and must follow the requirements established by the regulations and INDOTEL.

III. Concessions and Licenses

In order to provide public services to third parties, an authorization from the INDOTEL is required. The procedures for the obtainment of concessions is established by the Law and its regulations.

In order to obtain a concession or a license for providing telecommunications public services, it is mandatory to be incorporated or registered as a legal person in accordance with DR companies’ legislation.

Pursuant Law 153-98, a company seeking for a concession should meet the qualifications required by the regulations and other provisions established.

IV. Licences and Concessions Procedure

According to Law 153-98, the INDOTEL as the authority in charge, will call for a public tender for the granting of a concession or a license when there is a radio-electrical spectrum available which can be used for rendering public services of radio communications.

The public tenders are divided in two (2) stages, the first one starts with the qualifications, that will follow the general guidelines and particular objectives, non-discriminatory and determinable requirements, which previously shall be established; and the second one, the comparison of offers.

The mechanisms for the selection of candidates is objective in evaluating the offers and the adjudication will correspond to the most convenient offer in accordance to the criteria stipulated in the tender.

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By Arthur & Castillo (info@aclaw.com)

This AC Law Publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed or used as general legal advice. Any transaction related to any of the described aspects shall require adequate legal assistance in the appropriate jurisdiction. Arthur & Castillo. © 2017. All rights reserved.