COLOMBIA AIMS AT FACILITATING THE DEPLOYMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
Despite the claim from local authorities in order to obtain more and better telecommunications services, many times such entities impose obstacles which prevent the infrastructure deployment, affecting thereby the communications rights of the citizens and other related matters such as health or access to the information.
Since each municipality is autonomous in addopting the construction and installation regime applicable in their territory (land use plans, POT after its Spanish acronym), operators must comply with a variety of rules throughout the national territory in order to undertake the infrastructure installation. Many municipality rules make the technology deployment burdensome and even impose barriers aimed at protecting local suppliers. Likewise, some local authorities dilate permissions or deny unreasonably the applications.
In order to face this situation, the National Development Plan, adopted some measures to overcome these obstacles, among which the following are highlighted: (i) local authorities must identify and adopt corrective measures against the obstacles which restrict, limit or prevent the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure; (ii) In case the land use plan (POT) difficult the deployment of infrastructure, the mayor of the municipality shall promote adjustments thereto; (iii) Applications shall be decided and notified within a maximum period of two months . Should the entity fail to decide within such time frame, the request is considered approved, and the entity shall certify this situation. Such circumstance may lead to disciplinary and financial responsibility of the public official in charge of deciding the application.
Other entities such as the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) and the National Spectrum Agency (ANE after its Spanish acronym) are also relevant in this regard. Actually, the regulations issued by these entities on infrastructure deployment is going further, at the point that the National Development Plan provides that the installation of picocells and microcells is not subject to local authorizations if they do not require construction activities.
Finally, the ICT Ministry, along with the Procurador General issued Circular 014 of 2015, emphasizing the guidelines aimed at facilitating the infrastructure deployment, and thereby to respond to the connectivity needs claimed by the country.