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New Israeli Draft Bill Would Simplify Licensing Requirements for Telecom Services

Publications / Sep 01, 2020

Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

The Israeli Ministry of Communications published for public comments a draft bill proposing to amend the Communications Law (Telecom and Broadcasting), which would revolutionize the telecommunication licensing scheme.

The draft bill proposes to change the existing regime in a way that would reduce the bureaucratic burden, lower barriers to market-entry, and conform to the globally acceptable norm in the field of telecommunications.

The draft bill proposed to eliminate the obligation to obtain a specific license in advance as a condition for performing telecommunication activities and to repeal the existing distinction in the current law between the types of licenses (general, unique, and special licenses). Instead, the draft bill proposes that regulatory oversight of telecommunication services in Israel would be achieved through a general authorization scheme, based on a public document that prescribes the conditions that apply to all telecommunication services providers. The general authorization would allow any person desiring to provide telecom service to understand from the outset which conditions and requirements apply to their desired activities, and to begin operating without having to obtain a license.

The draft bill also suggests to down-scope the definition of “Telecom Service” and “Telecom Facility” that are subject to regulation. Consequently, this would reduce the number of services subject to the law’s regulatory regime. Telecom services will be redefined, both according to their nature how they are offered to the public, and based on their affiliation with the telecom network through which they are provided to the public. Telecom activities that do not provide a service to the public (except for underwater cable installation) will not be subject to regulation and there will be no duty to obtain a license to perform such activities.

Providers of services under a general authorization would merely be required to register with the Ministry of Communications, and the General Manager of the Ministry of Communications will maintain a record of all holders of the general authorization and the telecom service they provide.

CLICK HERE to read the draft bill (in Hebrew).

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