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Telecommunications in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

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Satelite DishIn an increasingly dynamic environment, U.S. telecommunications operators continue to look for opportunities to extend the reach of their global networks in order to deliver the advanced telecommunications their customers demand. The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement provides a new opportunity for U.S. operators to gain the legal certainty necessary to either make significant investments abroad or tap into existing telecommunications infrastructure to better expand their businesses.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Under the Agreement, U.S. investors are guaranteed the ability to build or acquire 100 percent ownership of a Colombian telecommunications operator, which represents a significant improvement over Colombia’s WTO commitments.

  • Users are guaranteed reasonable and non-discriminatory access to the telecommunications network in Colombia. This prevents local firms from having preferential or "first right" of access to telecommunications networks.

  • U.S. telecommunications companies obtain the right to interconnect with Colombian major suppliers’ fixed networks at nondiscriminatory and cost-based rates.

  • U.S. firms will be able to lease lines from Colombian telecommunications networks on non-discriminatory terms and to re-sell most telecommunications services of Colombian suppliers to build a customer base.

  • Under the Agreement, Colombia agreed to adopt a pro-competitive regulatory framework that builds upon the WTO Basic Telecommunications Reference Paper.