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1.1 What are the overall policies and objectives for the electronic communications industry and have these been published in draft or final form? What legislation is relevant to telecommunications and radio frequencies?
The overall policies and objectives for the Ukrainian telecommunications industry are set forth in the Law of Ukraine on Telecommunications dated 18 November 2003, as amended (the "Telecom Law"). The most important of such policies and objectives are as follows:providing access to universal telecommunications services; ensuring interconnection and sustainability of telecommunications networks; ensuring rational use of limited telecommunications resources; encouraging competition; enhancing the scope of telecommunications services and improving their standard; and ensuring efficient and transparent regulation, and non-discriminatory licensing.
The Law of Ukraine on Radio Frequency Resource dated 1 June 2000, as amended (the "Frequency Law"), provides for similar principles for radio frequency regulation and licensing. Further to the existing polices and objectives the Ukrainian government adopted the Concept for Telecommunications Development in Ukraine on 7 June 2006. The Concept defines strategic directions and goals to be implemented by the governmental authorities and private entities in the telecommunications sphere.
1.2 Is Ukraine a member of the World Trade Organisation? Has Ukraine made commitments under the GATS/GATT regarding telecommunications and has Ukraine adopted the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement?
Ukraine has been a member of the World Trade Organisation since 16 May 2008. Ukraine did not accept the Fourth Protocol to GATS (the Basic Telecommunications Agreement), not being a member of the WTO at the time of its adoption. However, in connection with its accession to the WTO, Ukraine did make commitments in respect of telecommunications under the GATS, which in particular incorporates the Reference Paper adopted together with the Fourth Protocol to GATS.
1.3 How is the provision of electronic communications networks or services regulated? Is the provision of electronic communications networks or services open to competition in Ukraine?
The Telecom Law and the Frequency Law are the principal statutes governing the provision of telecommunications services in Ukraine. The Telecom Law sets forth general principles for regulation of the telecommunications industry in Ukraine, including a description of the institutional framework, administration and operation of telecommunications services. Among other things, the Telecom Law governs the regulator's authority to issue licences, allocate numbering resources, ensure fair competition and freedom of pricing and oversee operators' compliance with the telecommunications laws and regulations.
The Frequency Law regulates the allocation and use of the radio frequency spectrum in Ukraine.
The provision of the communications networks and services in Ukraine is open to competition.
1.4 Which are the regulatory and competition law authorities? How are their roles differentiated? Are they independent from the government?
According to the Telecom Law, the Cabinet of Ministers (the Ukrainian government), the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (the "Communication Ministry"), and the National Commission on Regulation of Communications (the "NCRC") are the main governmental authorities managing the telecommunications industry. Competition issues are within the purview of the Antimonopoly Committee (the "AMC"), the Ukrainian antitrust authority.
The Cabinet of Ministers develops the overall policy and coordinates the activity of other governmental bodies in the telecommunications sphere. The Cabinet of Ministers also has specific powers in respect of radio frequency spectrum management, including the approval of fees for the use of frequencies and for the issuance of frequency licences. The scope of responsibilities of the Communications Ministry includes the development of state policy proposals, draft legislation, quality requirements for telecommunications services and technical standards.
The NCRC is the main regulator for the telecommunications sphere in Ukraine and is directed and coordinated by the Cabinet of Ministers. The NCRC inter alia issues licences for the provision of licensed telecommunications services and the use of radio frequencies, maintains registries of telecommunications operators and providers, allocates numbering resources and controls telecommunications activities.
The AMC is responsible for determining companies with a dominant position in the market. Moreover, the Telecom Law expressly provides that in cases of violation of competition law the NCRC should forward the respective materials to the AMC.
1.5 Are decisions of the national regulatory authority able to be appealed? To which court or body?
Individuals and legal entities can appeal the NCRC's decisions to an administrative court.
2.1 If a licence or other authorisation is required to install or operate electronic communications networks or provide services over them, please briefly describe the process, timescales and costs.
Only a company incorporated in Ukraine or an individual entrepreneur registered and permanently residing in Ukraine may render telecommunications services in Ukraine. Therefore, foreign companies cannot apply for any telecommunications or frequency licences unless they enter the Ukrainian telecommunications market through a local subsidiary.
Under the Telecom Law, a company/entrepreneur intending to carry out activities in the telecommunications sphere must submit a relevant notice to the NCRC at least one month prior to the start of operation. The NCRC must register the applicant and notify it on the registration within one week after submission of the notice.
In addition, a licence is required for any of the following activities: fixed or wireless telephone services, technical maintenance and operation of a telecommunications network, television or radio networks, and lease of telecommunications channels to third parties. The use of radio frequencies for providing telecommunications services is also subject to licensing. A licence to engage in a telecommunications activity that requires radio frequency spectrum is issued simultaneously with a relevant licence to use radio frequencies.
An applicant for a licence should file with the NCRC an application together with the set of documents envisaged by the relevant licensing conditions. The NCRC makes a decision to issue or deny issuance of the licence within 30 business days from the application date. If licensed activities require the use of a limited resource (radio frequency spectrum and/or numbering resource), the NCRC decides to issue or refuse the licence within 60 business days. In case of a positive decision, the NCRC must issue the licence within three business days after the applicant submits the document confirming the licence fee payment.
The NCRC can refuse to issue a licence inter alia if it previously decided to limit the number of licences or award them by tender.
Where there is no tender for a telecommunications licence, the fee for the issuance of the licence varies depending on the covered territory, the volume of allocated numbering resources, the type of licensed activity and the used technology and ranges from UAH 340 (approximately EUR 33) for local telephone communications in rural area to UAH 8,993,000 (approximately EUR 878,641) for international telephone communications. The fee for issuance of a radio frequency licence is also calculated based on the covered territory, bandwidth and used radio technology and ranges from 170 UAH (approximately EUR 17) to 1,360,000 (approximately EUR 132,813 per MHz per region).
The NCRC calculates the relevant fee in accordance with the fees approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Importantly, the Telecom Law classifies the persons/entities providing telecommunications services into "operators" and "providers". Pursuant to the Telecom Law, an operator renders its services under a licence and has the right to maintain and operate telecommunications networks and lease communications channels. A provider operates under (i) an agreement with a certain operator, and (ii) a copy of the operator's licence issued by the NCRC. Unlike operators, providers have no right to maintain and operate telecommunications networks or lease communications channels. Furthermore, providers cannot obtain the numbering resource from the NCRC, and they use telephone numbers assigned to them by an operator.
2.2 What other requirements, permits or approvals must be met or obtained before networks may be installed or operated and services provided?
Apart from the frequency licence, a radio frequency user should obtain a conclusion on electromagnetic compatibility (the "Compatibility Conclusion") and a permit for use of radio electronic and/or transmitting equipment (the "Equipment Permit"). The Compatibility Conclusion is issued for each piece of radio electronic or transmitting equipment and allows its installation. The Equipment Permit is issued upon submission of the Compatibility Conclusion.
In case the numbering resource is required, the operator should obtain a relevant NCRC decision on the allocation of numbering resources.
Additionally, installation of networks may require authorizations under planning rules, such as a construction permit. Activities related to design and installation of a telecommunications network, if performed by an operator without engaging a licensed contractor, would require obtaining a construction licence. In this case, the operator might also be required to obtain a permit for performing particularly dangerous works relating to the installation of telecommunications equipment (e.g. elevated works, including from lifting cradles, scaffolding).
Before installation of the networks an operator must conclude relevant lease or easement agreements with owners or users of the property where the infrastructure will be installed.
2.3 May licences or other authorisations be transferred and if so under what conditions?
Telecommunications licences and licences to use radio frequencies are not transferable. The numbering resource is also not transferable, except for the secondary transfer to telecommunications providers or customers. Notably, the Frequency Law provides for "re-allocation" of radio frequencies upon a joint application of the operators using them.
2.4 What is the usual or typical stated duration of licences or other authorisations?
The term of a telecommunications licence is determined by the NCRC, and it should not be less than five years. The term of a frequency licence is also established by the NCRC and should not be shorter than that of the respective telecommunications licence. The numbering resource is allocated for a period of validity of the telecommunications licence.
3 Public and Private Works
3.1 Are there specific legal or administrative provisions dealing with access and/or securing or enforcing rights to public and private land in order to install telecommunications infrastructure?
The Telecom Law provides that holders of a telecommunications licence are entitled to require a land plot owner or user to grant an easement for the purposes of laying underground telecommunications networks and/or removing damages in such networks.
3.2 Is there a specific planning or zoning regime that applies to the installation of telecommunications infrastructure?
There is no specific planning or zoning regime with respect to the installation of telecommunications infrastructure. However, such installation should comply with the general planning rules. As a general rule, the network owner should obtain a permit for network installation and a permit for construction works. In certain cases, the network owner should also receive a conclusion of state expert examination regarding the project documents. The installed network is put into operation upon receipt of a relevant compliance certificate.
3.3 Are there any rules requiring established operators to share their infrastructure, e.g. masts, sites, ducts or cables (i.e. dark fibre)? Are there any proposals to mandate 'passive access' to such basic infrastructure?
Under the Procedure of Access to the Electronic Communications Cable Duct approved by the NCRC on 23 July 2009, the owner of a cable duct must provide access to the cable duct upon application of an operator or offer an alternative option. The owner of the duct may refuse to provide access to the duct only if the requesting person has overdue debt for access to the cable duct or has failed to make the necessary corrections in the documents submitted to the owner of the duct. There are no rules requiring operators to share parts of their infrastructure other than cable ducts. The recent amendments to the Telecom Law require a mobile operator to provide "national roaming" to subscribers of another mobile operator if there is a relevant agreement between such operators. This should permit subscribers to receive mobile communications services in the areas of Ukraine where their operator does not have coverage.
4 Access and Interconnection
4.1 Is network-to-network interconnection and access mandated, and what are the criteria for qualifying for the benefits of interconnection?
The Telecom Law requires all telecommunications operators to provide interconnection to their telecommunications networks in all technically feasible interconnection spots that offer the throughput capacity which is adequate for the quality provision of telecommunications services. Operators must also provide other telecommunications operators willing to enter into interconnection agreements with all information required for drafting such agreements, as well as to offer interconnection conditions which are not worse than those offered to other telecommunications operators.
4.2 How are interconnection or access disputes resolved? Does the national regulatory authority have jurisdiction to adjudicate and impose a legally binding solution?
Operators must resolve interconnection disputes through negotiations. If negotiations are not successful, any of the parties have the right to apply to the NCRC for pre-trial settlement. A party may turn to the NCRC for resolving a dispute, provided that there is no court decision or pending proceeding regarding the same dispute. The NCRC decision is legally binding on the parties of a dispute and may be reversed only by a court.
4.3 Are any operators required to publish their standard interconnection contracts and/or prices?
The NCRC approves and, at least once per year, publishes in the official bulletin information on the offers of telecommunications operators, as to interconnecting with their telecommunications networks. Published offers should incorporate the list of existing interconnection points in telecommunications networks, organisational, economic and technical conditions of interconnection. Submission of such offers is mandatory only for operators with a dominant market position.
4.4 Looking at fixed, mobile and other services, are charges for interconnection (e.g. switched services) and/or network access (e.g. wholesale leased lines) subject to price or cost regulation and, if so, how?
Telecommunications operators are free to establish tariffs for accessing their networks on a contractual basis. However, the NCRC regulates interconnections involving dominant operators, including the technical, organisational and economic terms of interconnection and estimated tariffs for network access.
4.5 Are any operators subject to: (a) accounting separation; (b) functional separation; and/or (c) legal separation?
Generally, operators are not subject to accounting, functional or legal separation. However, an operator is precluded from acting simultaneously as a provider of the same type of telecommunications services. Thus, legal separation is required in cases where an operator wishes to render services in the capacity of a provider and vice versa. The distinction between a telecommunications operator and provider is outlined in question 2.1 above.
4.6 How are existing interconnection and access regulatory conditions to be applied to next generation (IP-based) networks?
Procedures for interconnection are technologically-neutral and do not specifically address the conditions for next-generation (IP-based) networks.
4.7 Are owners of existing copper local loop access infrastructure required to unbundle their facilities and if so, on what terms and subject to what regulatory controls? Are cable TV operators also so required?
There is no such requirement with regard to owners of existing copper local loop access infrastructure.
4.8 Are there any regulations or proposals for regulations relating to next-generation access (fibre to the home, or fibre to the cabinet)? Are any 'regulatory holidays' or other incentives to build fibre access networks proposed?
The law does not provide for any incentives in respect of next-generation access networks. Nor are there currently any proposals pertaining to a "regulatory holiday" in the telecommunications sphere.
5 Price and Consumer Regulation
5.1 Are retail price controls imposed on any operator in relation to fixed, mobile, or other services?
The NCRC approves maximum tariffs for universal telecommunications services. Such services include local telephony, universal access, calls to emergency services, reference information services and communication via public payphones. The NCRC also sets maximum tariffs for lease of electrical communications channels by telecommunications operators with a dominant position in the market of such services.
5.2 Is the provision of electronic communications services to consumers subject to any special rules and if so, in what principal respects?
Besides general consumer protection regulations, the Rules for Provision of Telecommunications Services approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 9 August 2005, as amended (the "Telecom Rules"), provide for specific requirements to the provision of telecommunications services. The Telecom Rules inter alia provide for confidentiality of transmitted data, responsibility of providers and customers for damages, procedure for filing complaints, resolving disputes, billing and payments for rendered services, as well as issues related to the provision of services to certain categories of disabled people.
6.1 How are telephone numbers and network identifying codes allocated and by whom?
The NCRC allocates telephone numbers and network identifying codes (the numbering resource) to telecommunications operators and issues respective numbering permits. An operator should start using the allocated numbering resource within the term which is indicated in the numbering permit and may not exceed three years. The fee for allocation of the numbering resource depends on the allocated numbers (their quantity, type, as well as allocated codes). The NCRC specifies the fee in its decision on allocation.
6.2 Are there any special rules which govern the use of telephone numbers?
The general regime for the allocation of telephone numbers is set forth in the Telecom Law and the National Numbering Plan approved by the Communications Ministry. The NCRC defines specific procedures for allocation and use of numbering resources. In particular, certain codes are reserved for specific services, such as 800 is allocated for toll-free calling, or 900 is used for premium rate telephone services. Numbers 101, 102, 103, 104, and 112 are assigned to the emergency services and may not be allocated to operators.
6.3 How are telephone numbers made available for network use and how are such numbers activated for use by customers?
An operator may apply to the NCRC for telephone number allocation after obtaining a licence for telephone services. The operator activates telephone numbers for its customers and may also assign numbers to telecommunications providers. The difference between a telecommunications operator and provider is outlined in question 2.1 above.
6.4 What are the basic rules applicable to the 'porting' (i.e. transfer) of telephone numbers (fixed and mobile)?
At the moment Ukrainian telecommunications law does not provide for number portability. However, the Ukrainian parliament has recently adopted and the president has signed the law which amends the Telecom Law and aims at introducing such a service. Thus, the "porting" of telephone numbers should become available in Ukraine starting from the first quarter of 2011. The NCRC is yet to approve the applicable rules in this respect.
7 Submarine Cables
7.1 What are the main rules governing the bringing into Ukraine's territorial waters, and the landing, of submarine cables? Are there any special authorisations required or fees to be paid with respect to submarine cables?
Pursuant to the Water Code of Ukraine a permit is required for the laying of cables on or under the sea bed. A permit is issued by the relevant local department of the Environment Protection Ministry according to the specific procedure established by the Cabinet of Ministers. The applicant must also obtain the consent of the relevant municipal body and local department of the State Committee for Land Resources before applying for the permit. There are no specific fees related to the laying of submarine cables.
8 Radio Frequency Spectrum
8.1 Is the use of radio frequency spectrum specifically regulated and if so, by which authority?
The Frequency Law is the principal statute providing the regulatory framework for the use and administration of radio frequencies. The use of radio frequencies is also regulated by the National Table of Radio Frequencies Allocation and the Plan of Radio Frequencies Utilization (the "Frequencies Plan"), approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. The powers of the Cabinet of Ministers and other governmental authorities relating to the use and administration of radio frequency spectrum are outlined in question 1.4 above. The NCRC is the main regulator with regard to the use of radio frequencies for telecommunications purposes. Furthermore, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is vested with the powers relating to the military use of frequencies. The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council (the "Broadcasting Council") is responsible for issuing broadcasting licences allowing the use of radio frequencies.
8.2 How is the use of radio frequency spectrum authorised in Ukraine? What procedures are used to allocated spectrum between candidates - i.e. spectrum auctions, comparative 'beauty parades', etc.?
The NCRC issues licences to use radio frequency spectrum for providing telecommunications services on a "first come – first served" basis. However, if the declared demand for spectrum exceeds its actual availability, spectrum must be allocated only by competitive bidding or tender pursuant to a relevant decision and in accordance with the procedure approved by the NCRC. Where a licence is awarded through competitive bidding, a frequency band is allocated to the bidder that offered the highest price for the band in its bid submitted to the NCRC in writing. If the NCRC decides to hold a tender, the licence is awarded to the bidder that called out the highest bid at the meeting of the tender commission. Also, regardless of whether the NCRC decides to hold a competitive bidding or tender for a radio frequency licence, a bidder must comply with all applicable conditions defined by the NCRC, which include region(s) to be covered by the licence, radio technology, the minimum price for a lot, etc.
8.3 Are distinctions made between mobile, fixed and satellite usage in the grant of spectrum rights?
Radio frequencies in Ukraine are used in accordance with the Frequencies Plan. The Frequencies Plan inter alia determines the list of radio technologies and specifies the particular frequency bands for such radio technologies. Therefore, mobile telecommunications services cannot be provided at the frequencies assigned only for fixed wireless technologies, etc. When applying for a radio frequency licence, the applicant should indicate, among other things, the frequency bands and the radio technology to be used. The licence also identifies the radio technology, thus precluding the use of alternative technologies.
8.4 How is the installation of satellite earth stations and their use for up-linking and down-linking regulated?
The installation and use of satellite earth stations for the purposes of telecommunications services require the authorizations mentioned in questions 2.1 and 2.2 above. Apart from that, the Frequency Law permits companies or individuals that do not provide telecommunications services to use radio frequencies on the basis of the Equipment Permit referred to in question 2.2 above.
Those persons are not required to obtain a radio frequency licence. Where the companies perform broadcasting via a satellite earth station, the licence to use radio frequencies should be obtained from the Broadcasting Council.
8.5 Can the use of spectrum be made licence-exempt? If so, under what conditions?
Please see question 8.4 above.
8.6 If licence or other authorisation fees are payable for the use of radio frequency spectrum, how are these applied and calculated?
Radio frequency users are required to pay one-time fees for issuance of (i) a radio frequency licence as outlined in question 2.1 above (if applicable), (ii) Compatibility Conclusions, and (iii) Equipment Permits, as well as make monthly payments for the use of radio frequencies. The NCRC determines the fees for issuance of Compatibility Conclusions and Equipment Permits. The Cabinet of Ministers approves the amounts of monthly payments for the use of radio frequencies. The latter depend on the radio technology and bandwidth. Radio amateurs and state agencies that use radio frequencies are not required to make the said monthly payments.
8.7 Are spectrum licences able to be traded or sub-licensed and if so on what conditions?
Radio frequency licences are not transferable under Ukrainian law, and they can be neither traded nor sub-licensed.
9 Data Retention and Interception
9.1 Are operators obliged to retain any call data? If so who is obliged to retain what and for how long? Are there any data protection (privacy rules) applicable specifically to telecommunications?
Telecommunications operators and providers must keep the records on the rendered services within the general three-year limitations period envisaged by the law. The Constitution of Ukraine and the Telecom Law guarantee secrecy of telephone conversations, telegraph and other correspondence, as well as information security of telecommunications networks. Operators and providers must ensure confidentiality of the customer information which was made available to them.
9.2 Are operators obliged to maintain call interception (wire-tap)capabilities?
Telecommunications operators are required at their own expense to install the equipment allowing competent state agencies to perform investigative activities on their networks. The operators must also ensure proper functioning of such equipment.
9.3 What is the process for authorities obtaining access to retained call data and/or intercepting calls? Who can obtain access and what controls are in place?
Law enforcement authorities may intercept calls of a person upon his/her written consent or a court order. Access to retained call data may be obtained or call interception may be applied provided that (i) there are sufficient grounds to believe that correspondence or information communicated to/by a relevant individual via telecommunications channels contains data pertaining to a crime or may be used as evidence, and (ii) there are no other means to obtain such information. If the mentioned conditions are met, an investigator seeking access to call data or call interception must coordinate his/her request with a prosecutor and file a respective petition with the court. The court decides on the petition and issues its order based on the case files and explanations of investigator and prosecutor.
10 The Internet
10.1 Are conveyance services over the internet regulated in any different way to other electronic communications services? Which rules, if any, govern access to the internet at a wholesale (i.e. peering or transit) and/or retail (i.e. broadband access) level? Are internet service providers subject to telecommunications regulation?
The general rules on provision of electronic communications services equally apply to the internet services. The Telecom Rules contain specific regulation for internet access services and channel lease.
10.2 Is there any immunity (e.g. 'mere conduit' or 'common carrier') defence available to protect telecommunications operators and/or internet service providers from liability for content carried over their networks?
Pursuant to the Telecom Law and the Telecom Rules, operators/providers are not liable for the information content carried over their networks.
10.3 Are telecommunications operators and/or internet service providers under any obligations (i.e. provide information, inform customers, disconnect customers) to assist content owners whose rights may be infringed by means of file-sharing or other activities?
Ukrainian law does not require telecommunications operators and internet service providers to assist content owners whose rights may be infringed by means of file-sharing or other activities. Furthermore, under the Telecom Rules an operator/provider does not provide any guarantee regarding the goods, information or services supplied or rendered over the internet, and it is not liable for any losses or damages caused to consumers or third parties as a result of using internet resources.
10.4 Are telecommunications operators and/or internet service providers able to differentially charge and/or block different types of traffic over their networks? Are there any 'net neutrality' requirements?
Ukrainian law does not preclude telecommunications operators and internet service providers from differentially charging for different types of network traffic. In practice, internet service operators/providers do set differentiated charges for various types of traffic (e.g. for traffic originating from Ukraine and international traffic).
A telecommunications operator/provider is permitted to limit or suspend provision of telecommunications services if a consumer violates the Telecom Rules, other provisions of the law or the services agreement.
The law does not expressly address the "net neutrality" principle.
10.5 How are 'voice over IP' services regulated?
Ukrainian law does not provide specific rules for VoIP or IP-telephony services. Thus, such services are generally covered by the licensing conditions applicable to conventional long-distance and international telephony.
Under the Telecom Rules telephone communications services is a type of telecommunications providing for transit of voice messages in real time scale using the numbering resource. It may be argued that IP-telephony covers only voice traffic originating from or ultimately terminating to PSTN and implies the use of numbering resources. As to PC-to-PC VoIP and VoIP transit, the regulator usually regards those as mere data transmission.
Previously, telephone communications services using IP-telephony technology were subject to special licensing rules under an earlier version of licensing conditions. The NCRC approved new licensing rules for fixed telecommunications services in late 2009. The new rules do not provide for separate IP telephony licensing and, therefore, are more technologically neutral.
10.6 Are there any rules to prevent, restrict or otherwise govern internet or email communications, in particular, marketing and advertising communications?
The Telecom Rules restrict customers from distributing certain information which can be classified as spam over the internet. The Telecom Rules define spam as electronic messages to which customers have not subscribed and which are either sent to multiple addressees by mass mailing, or contain false information regarding the name, mailing or electronic address of the sender or addressee, or from which a consumer cannot unsubscribe. It is prohibited to order or offer spam distribution services, as well as to send spam.
11.1 Is there a concept of universal service obligation; if so how is this defined, regulated and funded?
Ukrainian telecommunications operators are not subject to any universal service obligations. However, according to the Telecom Law, if there is insufficient supply of universal telecommunications services in certain regions, the NCRC may require dominant operators as well as fixed telecommunications operators covering or intending to cover those regions to provide and develop such services.
12 Foreign Ownership Rules
12.1 Are there any rules restricting direct or indirect foreign ownership interests in electronic communications companies whether in fixed, mobile, satellite or other wireless operations?
There are no rules restricting direct or indirect foreign ownership interests for telecommunications operators or providers.
13 Future Plans
13.1 Are there any imminent and significant changes to the legal and regulatory regime for electronic communications?
There are continuing discussions around the setting up of a universal services fund, an idea met with lukewarm support by the market. It is unclear at this point whether such a fund will be established since several recent proposals in this respect have failed. The parliament also considers introducing state regulation of tariffs for access to the telecommunications networks of operators with a significant market share and tariffs for access to electronic communications cable ducts.