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The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority has participated in an international forum for regulators of communications and audiovisual media which was held in London and organised by the International Institute of Communications (IIC). This was the first time that Gibraltar participated in this important annual event which allows regulators from around the world to exchange views and discuss trends in the communications industry.

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority's Chief Executive, Paul Canessa, was invited to address the forum on "transfrontier competition in small territories" with particular reference to the challenges faced in Gibraltar in the telecommunications field. Mr Canessa made reference to the shortage of telephone numbers accessible by callers from Spanish telephone networks because of Spain's refusal to recognise the "350" geographical area code for Gibraltar allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the late 1960s and Spain's refusal to allow its mobile operators to enter into roaming agreements with the Gibraltar operator. Paul Canessa described Spain's measures as anti-competitive and discriminatory which will not permit Gibraltar to comply with the EU's competition requirements.

Among the countries and regions represented in the International Regulators Forum were, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, Italy and Catalonia, as well as a number of European countries which will be joining the European Union next year.

The International Institute of Communications is an independent, non-profit, dynamically-engaged forum for industry, government and academia to analyse and debate trends in communications. The IIC enables unrivalled linkages between sectors, organisations, countries and individuals in a mutually respectful way. It strengthens networking across nations and regions of the globe between policy makers, regulators, academics, content providers, technologists and industrialists. The goal of the IIC is to provide a global framework for creating a dialogue about trends in communication and to promote access to communications for all people of the world.

31 October 2003

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