Will New Telecom Law Secure Freedoms in Myanmar Connectivity Developments?

Dr. Andrea Calderaro, a researcher at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom at the European University Institute, outlines the open consultation on Myanmar’s draft telecom law.

In the midst of Myanmar’s current period of dramatic reforms, developing a national connectivity plan is a key priority on the government’s agenda. As illustrated in my previous discussion about ongoing connectivity building in Myanmar (see Digitalizing Myanmar: Connectivity Developments in Political Transitions), in order to safeguard citizens’ freedoms and secure the telecom infrastructure development from political uncertainty, the government must first set rules for this connectivity plan and frame its policy implementations. The design and release of the country’s telecom law provides an important opportunity to better understand the credibility of Myanmar’s ongoing reform process and is a key step forward for connectivity development in the country.

In accordance with one of the main “best practices” in telecom reform, the Myanmar government launched an open consultation in order to gather recommendations and feedback on the draft version of the law before its final release. This consultation invited multiple stakeholders to contribute through a public, transparent, and open process. The draft law was made available online in English for an international public consultation from November 4th to December 2nd 2013. As a result, 21 different stakeholders, including international telecom hardware supply…

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