San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Consumer rights

Court orders new hearing to discuss proposed changes in mobile Internet rates

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Monday evening ordered the Telecommunications Superintendency (SUTEL) to conduct a new study on current mobile market conditions that is up-to-date and includes all of the country’s three carriers.

Justices also asked the agency to hold a new public hearing within the next four months and to provide more information on a proposed rate model for mobile Internet based on data consumption, instead of speed.

SUTEL in July called for a public hearing to present a new rate model, but the Sala IV suspended that meeting in response to a citizen’s claim that the proposal is based on a 2012 study and only included data from the state-owned carrier Kölbi, part of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute. Justices at the time agreed and said the information provided to customers was insufficient.

In a press release also on Monday, SUTEL stated that they would respect the court’s ruling, update proposal information and reschedule a public hearing in coming weeks.

The agency added that it would make information available to consumers in order to promote active participation in the public hearing.

The SUTEL proposal aims to set a new methodology for charging for mobile Internet, at a flat rate of ₡0.0075 per kilobyte of data transferred.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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