'We pick up regulations on the way as they come'

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

What are the problems that you foresee due to convergence?


One of the greatest challenge that we see is the entire field

of convergence where the traditional regulatory policies based on telecom,

broadcasting, and media, have to be reviewed because it is no longer clear that

these regulatory policies which were enacted in the past, will work. The

challenge for us is how do we come up with new set of rules and regulations to

fill up these gaps.

Why did you leave broadcast during the merger process?

The company decided to merge NCB and TCS to form IDA. We were

also considering on broadcasting specifications but during the evaluation it was

felt that probably what Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) is doing has not

got as much synergy as between NCB and TAS. But as the industry grows and

technology develops, we may reconsider the role.


Initially before the formation of IDA, we thought of coming

up with a new legislation to replace the Telecommunications Act. But it was

realized that there are many issues that need to be addressed and so our policy

makers decided that instead of rushing for the convergence bill, we should first

enhance our existing Telecommunications Act.

How do you foresee the duties of IDA in the future?

William HIOE, Sr director, Infocomm Development Authority of SingaporeWhat we have laid down is a set of operating principles. We

run in an intensely competitive telecom environment. We pick up regulations on

the way as they come. So when we moved from a monopoly environment, we

implemented a code of practice for competition. We still need a lot of

fine-tuning on the way.


How is the regulator promoting FDI in the country?

We perceive FDI in a holistic way. We have developed a

Singapore Inc approach where the different government agencies are responsible

for different areas. We look towards updating those areas that come under our

purview and how they can contribute towards a conducive environment, which would

attract investors to come in Singapore. Investors have a finite amount of

resource, so when they look at where to invest, obviously they have to see

whether the money will be safe and what will be the returns. Thus, there can be

markets which can be attractive in terms of returns, but if they have a feeling

that the money is not safe or the banking system may not be sound or the

government policy keeps changing or there is no transparency, they will be

reluctant to invest.

Pravin Prashant in Singapore