New General Telecommunications Act

21 May 2014

On May 10, 2014 the BOE [Spanish Official Gazette] published Law 9/2014 of May 9, 2014, General Law on Telecommunications, which will substitute its predecessor Law 32/2003 of November 3, 2003. The purpose of this Law is to promote competition without discouraging investments in the telecommunications sector. The main thrust of its articles is to establish measures for reducing and simplifying bureaucratic red tape by eliminating some of the licenses and authorizations needed in order to engage in telecommunications activity. By the same token, it lays down rules for promoting liberalization of the sector and providing a framework for the network system operation regime, as also for governing the rights and obligations of both operators and final users.    

In addition to the above, this change in the legislation applicable to the sector is inspired by the need to adapt the legal framework in order to comply with the so-called “Europe 2020 Strategy” objectives, one of the said objectives of relevance in the present context being access to broad band connections by all Europeans. It is estimated that there will be a need for private sector investment of some 23,000 million euros in the telecommunications sphere in Spain, and that this could generate two million jobs by 2020.


Apart from encouraging investment and removing barriers which have made the proliferation of new networks impossible, it is worth noting that if the objectives earmarked by this new legislation are achieved, the number of operators in the telecommunications market will increase, leading to pressure on prices and competition between businesses in the sector.

Another matter which the Act provides for is the control which the National Commission on Markets and Competition will have to exercise. The powers of the Commission will include, among others, authority for ex ante regulation and the settlement of disputes between operators recognized by community law.

Given the present economic situation and having regard to the importance of research and development, policies which promote investment and job creation will be welcomed, especially within a sector which demands rapid change.             

For further information, please contact Philipp von Wolffersdorff