Chilean regulator the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has introduced a draft bill that will require companies to offer access to their networks to other operators that do not have coverage in certain areas of the country. The National Automatic Roaming (RAN) Bill aims to improve connectivity for remote communities, with Subtel noting that due to the limitations of coverage in some areas customers are forced to resort to impractical solutions, such as having multiple devices and SIMs to ensure they have access to a network. The legislation would allow users in these areas to connect to any network with coverage of the area, regardless of their service provider; the service provider in question would then compensate the network operator for use of their infrastructure. In order to implement the measure, Subtel will require operators to create and maintain wholesale offers, which will be subject to approval from the regulator and review from the National Economic Prosecutor (Fiscalia Nacional Economica, FNE).
Commenting on the bill, which has already been signed by President Pinera but still requires parliamentary approval, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Gloria Hutt said: ‘Our role is to find solutions to the problems of citizens in terms of connectivity. Therefore, as a government, we have decided to promote this bill, in order to prevent telecommunications users living in rural or isolated areas from having to hire more than one mobile service, in addition to ensuring that those who visit these areas have constant connectivity.’