21st European Regional ITS Conference, Copenhagen 2010
This paper identifies view points of the Palestinian telecommunications sector's stakeholders with regard to regulatory independence and analyzes reasons behind the rejection of the 2009 Telecommunications Law that establishes an independent telecommunications regulatory authority. It sheds a light on the everlasting debate about necessity and viability of an unbiased, autonomous, and accountable regulator under occupation and political instability. The paper looks at the historical developments of the concept in the US and Europe and discusses political and social factors that played part in establishing regulatory authorities and placing safeguards that strengthen their independence and prevent them from being captured by any stakeholder. Then, through interviewing main stakeholders, the paper presents key issues of regulatory independence in Palestine. It first discusses the 2009 Telecommunications law and compares proposed safeguards to international best practices. Then it presents stakeholders' opinions and position regarding these safeguards. Finally, the paper makes some policy recommendation to ensure that a regulatory authority would be truly independent.