Kuwait Parliament passes bill for telco regulator
Bill to create independent regulator for Kuwait gets first round approval
Kuwait's National Assembly has approved the first reading of a bill to establish the country's first independent telecoms regulator.
According to a report on the assembly's website, the first stage of the bill has been passed, and a second and final reading of the bill is set for 18th March 2014.
If approved, the bill will create a new commission that will regulate the mobile, wireline and broadband sectors, although the exact scope of the supervisory powers that it will be given remains unclear.
Kuwait is the only country in the GCC without a telecoms regulator. At present, the Ministry of Communications act as the de facto regulator, but because the Ministry ultimately owns and operates the country's fixed-line infrastructure, this has been seen as a conflict of interest.
The creation of an independent regulator has been debated by the country's parliament over the last ten years, with little progress, and the lack of competition in Kuwait's telecoms market has meant it now lags behind the Gulf in fixed line internet connectivity and speed, mainly relying on copper connections rather than fibre.