Internet social tariff will advance. Government questions regulators on telecommunications prices

Alberto Souto de Miranda, Deputy Secretary of State and Communications, revealed that the Commission for Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing was not satisfied that the Government will proceed with the creation of a social Internet tariff for the benefit of people who normally benefit from tariffs. of electricity.

The Secretary of State stressed that there is indeed a problem of high prices in the Portuguese market and that it is up to the Competition Authority (AdC) and Anacom to investigate the situation.

The ideas defended by Margarida Matos Rosa, president of the Competition Authority (AdC), during an audio interview by the Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing Commission on July 14, were also questioned by Alberto Souto de Miranda. The president recalled, citing official data, that the average telecommunications costs are 700 euros per year per family.

The Secretary of State has indicated that the disaggregated amount is around 60 euros a month, putting it in perspective with other spending on water, electricity and essential goods, and questioning what regulators are doing to lower prices .

In June, the president of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM) had reinforced the position of the entity he manages, ensuring that the data on telecommunications prices in Portugal are irrefutable. A day earlier, the Association of telecommunications operators APRITEL accused ANACOM of insisting "on comparing what is not comparable", by saying that in Portugal the most expensive prices in Europe are practiced.

It is advisable to compare what is comparable, Alberto Souto de Miranda also affirmed that he reiterated that he believes more in the numbers of regulators than in those of Apritel, adding that the quality of services is something that has not been compared and that the pandemic has come to demonstrate the capacity and quality of telecommunications in this period.

It should be recalled that the Internet social tariff, which emerged as a PS proposal in 2019, although the idea has existed for a longer time, is one of the 12 key measures that the Executive of Antnio Costa set out to fulfill in his cycle of legislature, framed in the Action Plan for Transio Digital presented on March 5 this year.

Still in November 2019, during a debate at the Congress of Communications, promoted by the APDC, Alberto Souto de Miranda said that with the review of the universal service in progress, there was an intention to integrate broadband access into the universal telecommunications service. "Access should integrate the universal service, if necessary with public funds," said the Secretary.