IFT, the risk of vacancy

With an incomplete plenary session, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) begins a new chapter, in which it will not be able to make decisions on economic competition from the outset.

The IFT is suffering from the vacancy. In other words, it operates without the appointment of three of the seven commissioners with whom it should function.

The Constitution provides that the governing body of the regulatory body is made up of seven commissioners, including the president commissioner, and to date, it only operates with four because the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has not made the corresponding appointments.

In matters of economic competition, specifically in telecommunications, it is up to the IFT to resolve, but to do so the law provides that it must have at least five of the commissioners.

Forced by circumstances and in a pragmatic manner, the plenary of the IFT, still made up of the now former president Adolfo Cuevas, decided to modify the statutes of the body so that instead of four there are three to make the quorum and carry out part of its resolutions. .

Yesterday the first ordinary session of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications was held, already with Javier Juárez Mojica as interim president. The agenda came was very busy and many issues were reviewed. The interim president identifies the boost to the 5G network; the 6 gigahertz band, which is a topic not only in Mexico, but worldwide; satellite provisions and the National Infrastructure Information System.

One that was urgent due to time limits is the IFT-8 tender, which is the largest radio station tender ever held in the country with 300 FM and AM radio stations.

This is the public tender to concession the use, development and commercial exploitation of 234 frequencies in the 88 to 106 MHz segment of the Modulated Frequency band and 85 frequencies in the 535 to 1605 kHz segment of the Modulated Amplitude band. for the provision of the Public Service of Sonora Broadcasting.

The dates to issue the certificates of participation expired precisely yesterday, March 9.

Another issue of fundamental relevance is the discussion in plenary session to decide whether or not a constitutional controversy is presented so that the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, appoints, as mandated by the Constitution, the three missing commissioners to be completes the board of the telecommunications regulatory body.

The law provides that the acting president can present a constitutional controversy, after discussion with the rest of the commissioners.

Obviously, because it is such a sensitive issue, the four commissioners, including the presiding commissioner, will have to review all the alternatives.

What the IFT commissioners are clear about is that the operation with only four of the seven commissioners limits the exercise of the constitutional and legal powers entrusted to the autonomous body.

The background for the IFT is that another regulatory body, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece), today chaired by Brenda Hernández, presented a constitutional dispute in December last year to demand that the chief executive appoint the commissioners.

To date, it operates with four of the seven commissioners and last February 1, precisely due to the lack of the essential quorum (at least five of the seven), it decided to suspend the deadline for issuing a resolution on barriers to competition in the payment system with card.

The Federal Economic Competition Law establishes that the powers to resolve this type of procedure may only be exercised by the Plenary with the affirmative vote of at least five Commissioners. Today the Plenary operates with only four of the seven members established by the Constitution.

We will see if the four members of the IFT plenary agree that the path to follow is the same as that undertaken by Cofece and if they present a constitutional dispute.

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Marco A. Mares


Rich and Powerful

He has worked continuously in newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet, in the last 31 years he has specialized in business, finance and economics. He is one of the three hosts of the program Alebrijes, Águila o Sol, a program specialized in economic issues that is broadcast on Foro TV.

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