22 Feb, 2012
About the Georgian National Communications Commission
The Georgian National Communications Commission (hereinafter “Commission”), which consists of five members appointed for a period of six years, was established on July 1, 2000. Mr. Vakhtang Abashidze is the Chairman of the Georgian National Communications Commission. Mr. Akaki Sikharulidze, Mr. Kakhi Bekauri, Ms Sofia Britanchuk and Mr. Irakli Moseshvili are the Members of the Commission. Eight structural units form the structure of the GNCC. The Commission has Press Secretary and Consumer Rights Public Defender's Office.
As regulated by the Charter, the Commission is a legal entity of public law and a constant independent state authority. The Commission is obliged to submit its annual activity report to the President and the Parliament of Georgia. The Commission is not subordinated to any of the state authorities. The Commission is not financed by the State Budget; its source of revenue is the regulation fee paid by the authorized undertakings and license holder organizations in the field of electronic communications and broadcasting.
The precondition for the establishment of an independent Commission regulating activity in the field of electronic communications and broadcasting was the Law “on Post and Communications” issued on 23rd July 1999 by the Parliament of Georgia. The foundation of the Georgian National Communications Commission established completely new organizational-legal and economical environment for activity in the field of communications and post. The law defines and separates the functions of the Government as the body defining policy and those of the Commission as the regulatory authority.
Some of the main goals and tasks of the Commission are as follows:
- Inadmissibility of monopolistic activity in the field of communications;
- Establishment of fair and equal competitive environment;
- Introduction of modern technologies and establishment of effective cooperation with international organizations;
- Defense of the consumers’ legal interests.
The Georgian National Communications Commission is entitled to announce competition and auction for issuing license for radio broadcasting, TV broadcasting, usage of numbering and frequency resources (frequency spectrum). Only the Georgian National Communications Commission is empowered to issue, suspend, annul or extend the term of licenses and authorizations in the field of electronic communications and broadcasting. The Commission shall also carry out monitoring on the activity of authorized undertakings and on fulfillment of license conditions, make a register of authorized undertakings and license holders (informational data base of the Commission), and for effective and stable functioning of the market, consider disputes raised between license holders or authorized undertakings, as well as disputes between them and consumers.
One of the main functions of the Commission is to encourage the provision of service and activity with electronic communications networks and facilities, the establishment of competitive environment on the TV and radio broadcasting market of Georgia, determine the priorities of TV and radio broadcasting on the basis of public opinion and define the conformity of broadcasting conception submitted by license seeker, with these priorities. In order to ensure the fulfillment of license conditions and the fulfillment of the Laws “on Broadcasting”, “on Copyright”, “on Defending Minors from Unwholesome Influence”, “on Advertising” and “on State Secret”, the Commission shall carry out the monitoring of TV and radio broadcasting.
The competence of the Commission includes definition and allocation of radio frequency spectrum, certification of electronic communications and broadcasting facilities, standardization, provision of metrological service etc.
The Georgian National Communications Commission regulates technical, economical and legal issues on interconnection between electronic communications network operators. The purpose of interconnection is to defend consumers’ rights and to ensure the possibility of receiving service provided by any operator.
One of the main components of the development, management and regulation of the electronic communications field is the active collaboration with international organizations and international telecommunications systems. Within the last years, the Commission participated in consulting or developing projects, organized by the World Bank, the Agency for International Development of USA (USAID), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Council of Europe (CoE).
In 2001, the Georgian National Communications Commission became an Associate Member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In 2007, under the ETSI Rules of Procedure (RoP), the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) became a Full Member of ETSI. In February 2005 Georgia became the 100th Governmental Member of Governmental-Advisory Committee of Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN/GAC). According to the Decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia the Georgian National Communications Commission represents the interests of Georgia to the above-mentioned Committee.
To fulfill functions imposed by the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications, the Georgian National Communications Commission closely collaborates with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
In 2007 Georgia became a Full Member of the Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). Administration is the Ministry of Economy of Georgia, but the Georgian National Communications Commission closely collaborates with CEPT as the regulatory authority for telecommunications and broadcasting in Georgia.
One of the main principles of activity of the Commission is to have open, public and transparent relationship with the society. The Resolutions and Decisions of the Commission are available for public discussion.