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Disappearance proposal of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications

At the morning conference on January 7, 2021, the President of the Mexican Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, expressed his intention to present a bill to disappear several autonomous bodies, including the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (“IFT“, as per its Spanish abbreviation) and the National Institute of Access to Public Information, with the aim of reducing public spending.

With regards to the possible disappearance of the IFT, the President mentioned that the functions currently performed by the IFT could be absorbed by the Ministry of Communications and Transportations (“SCT“) and openly questioned the acting and results of the IFT, accusing the commissioners of being “closely linked” to the dominant and foreign  companies. The President finally indicated his intention to present in February a bill to disappear the IFT.

From our perspective, the disappearance of  the IFT would, in principle, imply the following:

  • A major reform of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States, since it provides for the existence of the IFT, as well as the way in which the IFT is integrated and its directors chosen, among other things;
  • An amendment to the New Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada, since Chapter 18, specifically Article 18.7, provides for the existence of an independent telecommunications regulatory body;
  • A total reorganization of the SCT to assume the functions and authorities of the IFT, considering that the Sub-Secretary for Communications and Technological Development recently disappeared.

Notwithstanding the previous statements, on December 16, 2020, the President sent to the Permanent Commission of the Congress a request for Sayuri Adriana Koike Quintanar and Laura Elizabeth González Sánchez to be ratified as new IFT commissioners instead of former commissioner Gabriel Contreras and the current commissioner Mario Fromow, who will leave office this year.

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