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Presidential decree grants vice-president additional powers over radio and television frequencies

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - As of 29 March 2011, the Vice-Presidency of the Republic of Venezuela has the authority to grant, revoke and suspend frequencies and cancel administrative orders in matters related to radio and open television broadcasting, according to a Presidential Decree published in the government gazette.

This development came about in the context of the partial reform of the Regulations governing the Vice-Presidency. Article 2 of these regulations grants the vice-president authority over 13 items in the telecommunications arena; among them, to "exercise authority over public policies in matters of administration, regulation, order and control of the radio electric spectrum, and other issues pertaining to telecommunications, (. . .)".

Presidential Decree number 8.122 grants the government more authority over the allocation of radio and television frequencies. Although the national executive had already granted control over the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) to the Vice-Presidency of the Republic on 3 August 2010, it was not until this Decree took effect that the Executive's representative could decide unilaterally whether to grant or revoke concessions.

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