The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) is one of the most efficient bodies of the Mexican State nine years after its creation. During this period, in addition to balancing two dynamic and investment-intensive industries such as telecommunications and broadcasting, the IFT has processed and resolved more than 120,000 matters related to these sectors and has achieved a collection of close to 3,400 million dollars, measured in that currency, only so far with the present government, the same one that advocates its disappearance as an autonomous body.
In a context of budget cuts, health confinement and economic downturns, the IFT has also managed to increase the collection in favor of the Federation Treasury and it is during the six-year term of the Fourth Transformation (Q4) in which it has achieved the highest peaks in fundraising for the use of spectrum frequencies, permits, concessions and sanctions, among many other matters that correspond to its powers, and it is also during this government that it has generated the greatest financial savings per year and has returned them to the Ministry of Finance.
The industries regulated by the Federal Telecommunications Institute participate in the Mexican economy with almost 327,000 jobs and 601,000 million pesos generated per year, around 4.4% of the national GDP in 2021.
It is from that reference that the IFT develops regulatory policy to generate competition and concurrence, for example, through frequency auctions for the creation of new communication alternatives and actors that enter the sector; or revisions to rates to some economic agents so that more users can use more services.
And it is also from there that this regulator maneuvers to avoid putting too much pressure on concessionaires with high taxes, such as those for the exploitation of frequencies for telephone, Internet and radio and television services, because the Ministry of Finance and the Chamber of Deputies have not been able to develop a new pricing policy for the spectrum, despite the claims of the industry and the IFT itself.
The Federal Telecommunications Institute It has raised a total of 144,118.48 million pesos from September 2013 to December 2021, according to the quarterly activity reports of that organization. This figure is equivalent to 7,120.34 million dollars.
During the administration of President Enrique Pena Nietothe regulator captured 75,688.02 million pesos in favor of the Federal Treasury, about 3,739.47 million dollars.
So far this government, the IFT A total of 68,430.46 million pesos has been collected until December 2021 and is equal to 47.48% of the resources raised by the IFT in its nine years of life, although that figure will increase given the almost three years that still remain in this six-year term and are resources that the federal government directs to participation of the states, creation of infrastructure and its social assistance programs, among others.
Already in the first quarter of 2022, the IFT has collected at least 1,235 million pesos in favor of the Treasury of the Federation for the spectra placed in the recent AM/FM radio tender at the national level and the renewed frequencies to Telcel Y AT&T.
In 2019, the first year of Q4, the regulatory authority captured 26,673.90 million pesos in favor of the State and in 2020, in the most critical year of the pandemic, it saved the government 298 million pesos; and since 2013, the IFT league, as far as that data has been made public, a saving of 345 million pesos.
Despite the IFT’s regulatory work, the federal government headed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador longs for the disappearance of this autonomous body.
In February of this year, the president accused the “bureaucratic and sectarian structure, contrary to the national interest” that autonomous bodies mean. López Obrador also recognized in that month that during his government it will not be possible to annul organizations such as the IFT: “There are things that are going to remain pending,” he said in one of his morning conferences.
For López Obrador, the IFT is the result of the neoliberal regime that emerged from a structural reform of 2013.
The IFT, which has been emulated by the English regulator Ofcom on issues of number portability and also internationally recognized for its telecommunications and broadcasting information bank, was recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a fifth generation regulator, for its policies that pursue a digital transformation of the Mexican economy and society.
After this recognition, in a radio interview the current president of the IFT, Javier Juárez Mojica, said that this regulator “is an arbitrator who sides with the industry and the State to understand, but not to impose.”
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