Telecoms Consumer Protection

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Regulation and consumer protection in a converging environment March 2013

This report has been prepared for ITU by Rosalind Stevens under the direction of the BDT Regulatory and Marked Environment division.

 Please consider the environment before printing this report.  ITU 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means whatsoever, without the prior written permission of ITU.

Regulation and consumer protection in a converging environment

Foreword
It is my pleasure to introduce the report on the regulation and consumer protection in a converging environment, in the framework of Resolution 64 of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Hyderabad, 2010) and the activities of ITU-D Study Group 1. I have championed that ITU-D work closely with its Membership on this topic: to help them develop good policy; to create partnerships for ICT investment; and, to build human capacity. The expansion of digital technologies has dramatically changed the way in which electronic communication services are delivered to and accessed by consumers. Broadband networks, voice, data and video services can now be offered on the same platform. This not only promotes competition of a wide variety of services and applications that was not possible before, but consequently requires new regulatory frameworks to tackle issues previously managed in the separate and distinct domains of broadcasting, telecommunication and online services. This report describes and analyses the various resources, strategies and tools that regulators need to improve the enforcement of national laws, rules and regulations governing consumer protection in a converging environment. I hope that the guidelines, recommendations and best practices for the implementation of consumerprotection policies related in this report will assist today’s multi-stakeholder efforts to address many issues affecting present and future economic and social development.

Brahima Sanou Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau

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Regulation and consumer protection in a converging environment

Table of contents
Page Foreword ................................................................................................................................................i Table of contents................................................................................................................................... iii Introduction ........................................................................................................................................... 1 Section 1: Current regulatory frameworks in relation to consumer protection. .......................................1 Section 2: Defining the problem – what does convergence mean for regulation and consumers?............6 Section 3: Critical areas for the establishment of policies or regulatory frameworks for the protection of consumers and users in a converging environment ............................................................8 Section 4: What are the organisational methods and successful practices used by NRAs to enforce their national laws, rules and regulations governing consumer protection in a converging environment?....................................................................................................................................... 16 Section 5: Guidelines and recommendations for successful methods and practices for meeting the challenges of convergence .............................................................................................................. 19 Section 6: Summary and conclusions...
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