TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW

Chapter One
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 1. This Law shall regulate the public relations connected with the carrying out of telecommunications in the Republic of Bulgaria.

 

Art. 2.

 

(1) The aim of this Law is to create a framework, ensuring the satisfaction of the public demand for telecommunications services.

 

(2) This Law provides conditions for:

 

1. liberalisation of telecommunications activities and services, establishment of a free market and loyal competition;
2. fair and non-discriminatory treatment of the operators;
3. provision of universal service on the territory of the entire country at affordable prices;
4. protection of the national security interests.

 

Art. 3.

 

(1) Telecommunications means conveying, transmitting or receiving of characters, signals, text, images, sound or information of any kind by wire, radio waves, optical or other electromagnetic medium.

 

(2) Telecommunications activity means performance of telecommunications through establishment, maintenance and operation of telecommunications networks and/or provision of telecommunications services.

 

(3) Universal service means a service with a determined quality of provision, accessible to any user, regardless of his geographical location and offered at an affordable price. A universal service is the ordinary voice telephony service, provided via the fixed telephony network.

 

Art. 4. Telecommunications shall be carried out by telecommunications operators on the grounds of individual, class or general licences.

 

Art. 5. The management and regulation authorities, and the public telecommunications operators shall guarantee the freedom and confidentiality of telecommunications.

 


 

Chapter two
MANAGEMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES

Section I
MANAGEMENT

Art. 6. The telecommunications activities are managed by the Council of Ministers (CoM), the National Radio Frequency Spectrum Council and by the Committee of Posts and Telecommunications (CPT), according to their powers, as specified by this Law.

 

Art. 7.

 

(1) The Council of Ministers shall lay down the state policy in the field of telecommunications by approving a Sector policy statement. The Sector policy shall be promulgated in the State Gazette.

 

(2) The Sector policy determines the strategy, principles and stages of development of the telecommunications sector and shall contain the types of activities and services as well as the time schedule of their liberalisation.

 

(3) The sector policy may be updated annually, or in shorter time intervals, in the order in which it has been adopted.

 

Art. 8.

 

(1) The Council of Ministers shall approve the granting of licences for establishment of telecommunications networks and provision of telecommunications services, using radio frequency spectrum.

 

(2) The approval of the licences under Art 8. (1) by the Council of Ministers shall be carried out in compliance with the law, and in accordance with the public interest, state sovereignty, and national security.

 

Art. 9. The National Radio Frequency Spectrum Council at the Council of Ministers shall pursue the state policy on the radio frequency spectrum.

 

Art. 10. The CPT shall pursue the telecommunications policy on the basis of the present Law and the Sector policy adopted by the Council of Ministers.

 

Section II
NATIONAL RADIO FREQUENCY SPECTRUM COUNCIL

Art. 11.

 

(1) A National Radio Frequency Spectrum Council shall be established at the Council of Ministers. Members of this Council shall be representatives of the CPT, the State Telecommunications Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, the Transport Ministry, the Ministry of Defence and the Mi8nistry of Interior.

 

(2) The Chairman of the Council shall be appointed by the Council of Ministers for a term of four years. The Council members perform their obligations during the term of office of the Council's chairman.

 

(3) The heads of the authorities under paragraph 1 shall appoint their representatives and ensure their participation in the Council's activities.

 

(4) On proposal of the Council's Chairman, the Council of Ministers shall adopt the working regulations of the Council.

 

(5) The administrative support of the Council shall be provided by the authority, whose representative is the Council's Chairman.

 

Art. 12.

 

(1) The National Radio Frequency Spectrum Council shall prepare and periodically update, and the Council of Ministers shall approve, a National frequency plan for the allocation of radio frequencies and radio frequency bands from the radio frequency spectrum for civil needs, for the needs of defence and of security, and for shared use.

 

(2) The National Frequency Plan of the radio frequency spectrum shall be open to the public.

 

(3) The specific allocation of the radio frequencies and radio frequency bands for shared use for civil purposes, national defence purposes and security purposes shall be agreed between the concerned authorities.

 

(4) The Council shall consider and settle any disputes relating to electromagnetic compatibility arising between the users of the radio frequency spectrum mentioned in Par. 3.

 

Section III
COMMITTEE OF POSTS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Art. 13.

 

(1) The CPT shall prepare, submit to the Council of Ministers for approval, and pursue the sector policy in the telecommunications sector.

 

(2) The sector policy shall comply with the telecom policies in EU as far as possible under the circumstances in Bulgaria.

 

Art. 14. The CPT shall exercise the rights of the capital owner in the State-owned companies, as well as in those companies in telecommunications sector where the State is a share holder or a partner.

 

Art. 15. The CPT shall carry out activities relating to:

 

1. restructuring of the sector;
2. research and development in telecommunications;
3. development of the Information society;
4. Eurointegration;
5. management of postal communications;
6. management of the budget funds for the professional educational institutions, for professional training, and for the defence and mobilisation training of the military units in the telecommunications sector;
7. management of the activities and logistics of the military units of the telecommunications sector in time of war and peace.

 

Art. 16. The CPT Chairman shall:

 

1. approve the principles of the National numbering plan;
2. represent the Republic of Bulgaria in the International Telecommunications organisations;
3. issue the regulations, instructions, ordinances and other acts in the field of telecommunications, as provided for by law.

 

Art. 17. Before issue of the acts referred to in Art. 16 (3), the CPT shall publish in the national and local press an announcement about drafts of the acts, which announcement shall indicate where the affected persons can obtain copies of those drafts and the timetable for presenting an opinion in writing. The CPT shall dully consider the opinions and, thereafter, shall issue a written decision containing its reason for adopting, or declining to adopt any such opinions.

 

 

Chapter three
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FUND

Art. 18.

 

(1) A National Communications System Fund (NCS Fund) is established with the CPT.

 

(2) The National Communications System Fund shall aim at assisting the development and upgrade of the national telecommunications and postal infrastructures.

 

Art. 19. The resources of the NCS Fund shall be raised from:

 

1. 5% of the initial licence fees set out in the licences granted as per Chapter V, Section II;
2. 20% of the annual radio frequency fees set out in the licences granted as per Chapter V, Section II;
3. donations and wills;
4. income from interest on money in financial institutions;
5. other revenue.

 

Art. 20.

 

(1) The resources of the NCS Fund shall be used for:

 

1. Funding of telecommunications and postal projects of national importance.
2. Funding of important telecommunications projects related to the governing, defence and security of the country;
3. Funding of R&D of national importance;
4. Reallocation of radio frequency spectrum from government to civil use;
5. Management of the fund;
6. Other expenses related to the organisation and implementation of telecommunications and postal projects.

 

(2) Financing of the activities under (1). 1 and (1). 3 shall be carried out in accordance with the principles of fair competition between the operators, transparency and non-discriminatory treatment.

 

(3) The conditions for raising and allocation of NCS Fund money shall be set out in a Regulation issued by the Chairman of the CPT.

 

Art. 21.

 

(1) The NCS Fund shall be managed by a Managing Committee whose members shall be appointed by the CPT Chairman.

 

(2) The Chairman of CPT shall also be Chairman of the Managing Committee.

 

(3) The Managing Committee shall adopt its working regulations in co-ordination with the Minister of Finance.

 

 

Chapter four
REGULATION AND CONTROL OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES

Section 1
STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Art. 22.

 

(1) The State Telecommunications Commission (STC) is a state authority with the Council of Ministers. The Commission is a legal entity with budget funding and headquarters in Sofia.

 

(2) The STC is a primary authority regarding the use of allocated budget funds.

 

(3) The STC shall pursue the Sector policy by regulating and controlling the telecommunications, and the postal communications, in a defined by law way.

 

Art. 23.

 

(1) The STC is a collective body consisting of five members, including a Chairman and his Deputy.

 

(2) STC members shall be designated by a CoM regulation and appointed by the Prime minister with a seven-year term of office. There can be no more than two consecutive terms.

 

(3) Owners, partners, directors, procurators or members of the management of companies, that have telecommunications as their scope of activities, are prohibited from being members of the State Telecommunications Commission.

 

(4) STC members can be released prior expiration of their term of office:

 

1. because of resignation;
2. for commitment of a grave offense against the present Law;
3. for grave, or regular, breaches of official duties;
4. for commitment of a criminal offense, established by an effective court sentence;
5. for inability to perform their duties for more than six months.

 

Art. 24. The Chairman shall:

 

1. organise and manage STC activities;
2. represent STC;
3. authorise other persons to carry out certain activities.

 

Art. 25. STC acts can be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Administrative Proceedings.

 

Art. 26.

 

(1) STC activities, structure, operational organisation, and the work of the members and administrative staff shall be set out in special STC regulations, adopted by the Council of Ministers.

 

(2) STCs administrative staff average salary cannot be lower than the average for the personnel, employed in the telecommunications sector. When specifying the average salary of the administrative staff, STCs members compensation is not to be taken into account.

 

 

Section II
FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Art. 27. The STC shall carry out the following activities:

 

1. convey a preliminary study of the necessity and technical feasibility of the issue of a licence for the establishment of telecommunications networks and for provision of public telecommunications services, using radio frequency spectrum. A regulation of the Chairman of the CPT shall establish the proceedings of the study. .
2. prepare the documents and carry out the necessary activities relating to the granting of the licences referred to in this Law;
3. grant, amend, supplement, suspend, terminate and revoke licences for telecommunications activities.
4. grant, amend, supplement, suspend, terminate and revoke licences for establishment of telecommunications networks and provision of telecommunications services, using radio frequency spectrum after CoM approval.
5. grant, amend, supplement, suspend, terminate and revoke licences for radio- and television activities upon decision of the National Radio and Television Council (NRTVC);
6. grant, terminate and revoke the licences under 5. above, which are using radio frequency spectrum, upon decision of the National Radio and Television Council and a CoM approval;
7. provides the necessary conditions for carrying out of telecommunications activities in case of maritime or air search and rescuing, as well as safety information.
8. prepare the National numbering plan and allocate it among the operators in compliance with the adopted principles;
9. draft, co-ordinate and propose to the CPT the secondary legislation referred to in this Law;
10. inform the public and carry out public consultations and opinion polls on important telecommunications issues.

 

Art. 28. STC shall exercise the following functions related to the management of the radio frequency spectrum:

 

1. develop the radio frequency spectrum management policy and manage the spectrum, allocated for civil purposes;
2. upon request, and after consultations with the concerned parties, carry out the international co-ordination of radio frequencies and radio frequency bands as well as of the equipment for their use. The international co-ordination shall involve all radio services (according to the appendix);
3. carry out the national co-ordination of radio frequencies and radio frequency bands as well as the equipment for their use for all civil purposes with all concerned parties. The co-ordination is carried out for the safety of the air and sea navigation. For national security reasons, the national co-ordination is also carried out with the country's defence and security authorities. National co-ordination shall apply to all radio services which use radio-frequency spectrum for civil purposes;
4. upon request from the concerned parties, register with the international telecommunications organisations the radio frequencies and frequency bands that have been co-ordinated, and the equipment for their use. Registration shall apply to all radio services;
5. issue the following permits:
   a) for import of emitting radio equipment for civil use, in accordance with the import regime approved by the Council of Ministers;
   b) for production and/or distribution of emitting radio equipment for civil purposes on the territory of the country;
   c) for legal capacity of radio operators -- both professional and amateur. The qualification permits of the radio operators of the aeronautical mobile service, the satellite mobile service, the World Naval Safety System of the sea mobile and sea satellite mobile services shall be issued by the Transport Ministry;
   d) for performance of laboratory tests on radio equipment;
6. monitor the observance of the requirements for electromagnetic compatibility and of the rules for the radio frequency spectrum use for civil purposes;
7. monitor the observance of the internationally approved procedural rules for all radio services;
8. define the calling signs of transmitting radio equipment in accordance with the international rules of operation of the radio services;
9. assigns the activities related to maritime and air search and rescuing, as well as the distribution of current safety information concerning the maritime and air traffic, to a licensed public telecommunications operator;
10. participate, jointly with the CPT, in the work of the international organisations engaged in the management of the radio frequency spectrum;
11. draft regulations concerning the procedural rules and the technical specifications of particular types of radio services.

 

Art. 29.

 

(1) The State Telecommunications Commission shall approve the type of terminal equipment and emitting radio equipment, and issue the respective certificates.

 

(2) The State Telecommunications Commission shall:

 

1. prescribe the essential requirements for electromagnetic compatibility and safety of telecommunications equipment and installations for civil use;
2. authorise persons to carry out evaluation of the compliance of the telecommunications equipment and installations for civil use with the essential requirements for electromagnetic compatibility and safety.

 

Art. 30. The State Telecommunications Commission is a national standardisation body in the field of telecommunications and represents the Republic of Bulgaria in the international telecommunications standardisation agencies - the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute (ETSI).

 

Art. 31. The State Telecommunications Commission shall monitor the observance of:

 

1. the regulations in the field of telecommunications and the mandatory standards set out therein;
2. the pricing policy principles;
3. the quality of service;
4. the terms and conditions stipulated in the licences.

 

Art. 32.

 

(1) The State Telecommunications Commission keeps registers for:

 

1. granted licences;
2. the certificates issued for type approval of terminal equipment and emitting radio equipment for civil use;
3. the emitting radio equipment, for which have been issued manufacturing, import and/or distribution permits.

 

(2) The registers under paragraph 1 shall be open to the public.

 

Art. 33.

 

(1) STC may require from any party, involved in telecommunications activities, information necessary to perform its regulatory functions.

 

(2) STC, and its administrative staff, shall keep the confidentiality of the information, obtained under paragraph 1, in those cases when it is a commercial secret.

 

Art. 34.

 

(1) STC settles disputes between telecommunications operators concerning interconnection of networks and/or leased lines.

 

(2) The party not contended may file a claim with the court.

 

Art. 35. STC represents the Republic of Bulgaria in the international organisations of the regulatory authorities in the field of telecommunications.

 

Art. 36.

 

(1) The State Telecommunications Commission shall prepare annually, and present to the Council of Ministers, the CPT, and the National Radio and Television Council a report of its activities, which shall contain information about:

 

1. the development of the universal service provision and the level of customer satisfaction of this service;
2. the frequency allocation for civil use by service type, and evaluations of the effectiveness of their use;
3. the number allocations from the National numbering plan;
4. telecommunications services and activities market survey and future prospects for development;
5. competition situation in the telecommunications sector and application of the tariff policy principles.

 

(2) During the preparation of the report the STC may request the official opinion of the Committee for Competition Protection in relation with item (1). 5.

 

(3) STC annual reports shall be published.

 

 

Section III
FUNDING OF THE STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Art. 37.

 

(1) The budget resources of STC are raised from:

 

1. licence fees;
2. annual fees for scarce resource utilisation;
3. 20% of the fines and property penalties as set out in this Law.
4. 5% of the initial licence fees set out in the licences issued as per Chapter V, Section II;
5. 30% of annual radio frequency fees set out in the licences issued as per Chapter V, Section II;
6. accrued interest;
7. donations;
8. other revenues from STC activities.

 

(2) STC budget resources are used for:

 

1. financing of STC activities;
2. funding of projects related to market regulation and liberalisation;
3. financing of the Radio and Television Fund;
4. other expenses

 

(3) Any STC budget resources that have not been utilised by the end of the accounting year, shall be used by STC the following year.

 

 

Chapter five
LICENCES AND FREE REGIME

Section I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 38. Under the provisions of this Law, a licence is an individual administrative act, which allows the use of the radio frequency spectrum, and the performance of telecommunications activities and radio and television activities.

 

Art. 39.

 

(1) Telecommunications activities are performed on the basis of individual licences, class licences and a free regime of operation in accordance with the provisions of this Law. Radio and television activities shall be performed on the basis of individual licences only.

 

(2) The CPT Chairman specifies, in an order, the types of telecommunications activities subject to individual licensing, class licensing and free regime of operation. The order is published in the State Gazette.

 

Art. 40.

 

(1) The requirements for granting licences shall be equal for all applicants for the same type of telecommunications network, or for the provision of the same type of telecommunications services.

 

(2) The issue of licences shall be carried out under conditions of public accessibility, non-discrimination and transparency.

 

Art. 41.

 

(1) There shall be no restrictions as to the number of operators who can be granted licences, except when the resource is scarce for natural or technical reasons.

 

(2) In the cases of a scarce resource under par. (1), STC shall inform the public about the reasons that necessitate the restriction.

 

 

Section II
GRANTING OF LICENCES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS ESTABLISHMENT AND FOR PROVISION OF PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, USING RADIO FREQUENCY SPECTRUM

Art. 42. STC, on the basis of its preliminary study of the necessity and technical feasibility, submits a proposal to the Council of Ministers for granting of licences for the establishment of telecommunications networks and the provision of telecommunications services through the radio frequency spectrum.

 

Art. 43.

 

(1) STC proposals shall contain:

 

1. the scope of activities, which will be performed, using the radio frequency spectrum;
2. the granting proceedings - by way of tender or auction, or none if allowed by law.
3. the amount of licence fees.

 

(2) The proposal should be accompanied by a draft tender/auction package, a draft licence, as well as a draft licence for radio and TV activities, if such is necessary.

 

Art. 44.

 

(1) The Council of Ministers shall have a Decision on the proposal within one month.

 

(2) Should the Council of Ministers accept the proposal under Art. 43(1), CoM Decision shall specify:

 

1. the subject and term of licence;
2. the granting proceedings - by way of tender or auction, or none if allowed by law;
3. the tender/auction package;
4. the amount of licence fees;
5. the time limits for STC to conduct tender/auction.

 

(3) The decision under par. (2) shall be published in State Gazette and in one national daily newspaper.

 

Art. 45.

 

(1) The Prime Minister shall, as per the term under Art. 44(1), appoint an evaluation committee to conduct the tender/auction. Committee members shall come from STC, and - depending on the subject of the licence - the National Radio & TV Council, and other concerned departments and organisations.

 

(2) The Evaluation Committee shall be chaired by the STC Chairman.

 

Art. 46. The tender/auction shall be organised by STC.

 

Art. 47.

 

(1) The Evaluation Committee under Art. 45 par. (1), on the basis of the tender or auction package and adopted criteria, ranks the candidates and proposes to the Council of Ministers to take a decision for selection of the party that has won the tender/auction.

 

(2) The tender/auction shall be organised and conducted in an order set out in Art. 65, 66, 67 and 70 in Section IV.

 

Art. 48.

 

(1) The Council of Ministers shall, within one month, issue a Decision concerning the selected applicant, the reason for the choice and the obligation for STC to grant the licence. The decision shall be promulgated in State Gazette.

 

(2) The decision under (1) may be appealed in accordance with the Law on the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

Art. 49. Within 14 days of taking the decision, STC shall issue the licence to the party which has won the tender/auction.

 

 

Section III
INDIVIDUAL LICENCE

Art. 50. Individual licences shall be granted to physical persons single proprietors, and to legal persons. Individual licences for private networks using the radio frequency spectrum shall be granted to physical persons as well.

 

Art. 51. Individual licences for telecommunications activities shall be granted without tender/auction, when the resource to be used is not scarce.

 

Art. 52. When the resource is scarce, individual licences shall be granted after tender/auction, unless stipulated otherwise in a law.

 

Art. 53. Individual licences shall be granted without tender/auction when the resource is scarce in the following cases:

 

1. the number of applicants is less or equal to the available scarce resource;
2. to public telecommunications operators who need radio frequency spectrum that is not used directly for provision of public telecommunications services;
3. for establishment and operation of private networks, whereby the licence is granted to the first one declaring his request in writing;
4. for establishment and operation of private networks for own use under art. 81 par. 1 whereby the licence is granted to the first one declaring his request in writing;
5. for needs of the state authorities.

 

Art. 54. The conditions and order for issue of individual licences without tender/auction are to be specified in regulations of the CPT.

 

Art. 55.

 

(1) Individual licences are personal.

 

(2) Individual licences can be transferred to third parties only with the consent of STC, one year after their issue date.

 

(3) If the individual licences granted are subject to the conditions of a tender/auction, they cannot be transferred during the first three years after their issue date except if the licensee has declared in advance his intention to establish a company, entirely his own property, for the fulfilment of the licensed activities. On expiration of the three-year period the licences can be transferred to third parties only with consent of STC.

 

Art. 56.

 

(1) The individual licence for telecommunications activities shall be granted for a term of up to 20 years. Should the parties so agree, this term can be extended, but its total duration shall not exceed 35 years. The duration of the licences issued under Chapter V, Section II may be extended after a decision of the Council of Ministers.

 

(2) Upon submission of an application for a new licence - after expiration of the old licence term for the same activities, the other conditions being equal, preferred shall be the party under par. (1).

 

Art. 57.

 

(1) Individual licences for the establishment, maintenance and operation of public telecommunications networks and/or provision of public telecommunications services via these networks, shall contain some, or all, of the following conditions and requirements:

 

1. licence scope and term of duration, territorial coverage, allocated radio frequency spectrum;
2. technical specifications to be met by the networks and equipment;
3. exclusive rights, if such have been granted, and their duration;
4. amount of licence and other fees, payment terms;
5. prohibition for cross subsidising of other telecommunications networks and services;
6. obligation to provide all users with services, under equal conditions, while guaranteeing that disabled persons and customers with special social needs shall have access to services;
7. obligation to co-ordinate with STC the General conditions and terms of relations with users;
8. quality of service standards;
9. obligations with respect to the development or expansion of the network or the provision of services, time schedule to undertake the activity;
10. obligation to guarantee reliability of the construction, maintenance, and operation of the telecommunications networks and the provision of telecommunications services in cases of Force Majeure or other states of emergency;
11. obligation to provide public telecommunications services, if necessary, for national defence and security;
12. additional obligations related to national defence and security, or in cases of disasters and accidents;
13. obligation to provide free-of-charge calls in emergencies;
14. the right to suspend or terminate service to any user for non-payment or for violation of the service agreement;
15. obligation to ensure access to the network and interconnection with other networks;
16. obligation to deposit with the CPT a sample of the encryption codes and documentation, when such means are being used;
17. obligation to introduce the essential European and international telecommunications standards in the country;
18. obligation to issue a subscribers' directory;
19. requirements to guarantee the confidentiality of communications;
20. requirements to give access, under equal terms and conditions, to other telecommunications operators to premises, ducts, rights-of-way, towers and other available facilities (equipment), if technically and physically possible;
21. requirement to allow control of licence performance;
22. provisions with respect to the amendment, extension or termination of the licence;
23. provisions related to sanctions, including revocation of the licence;
24. any particular restrictions or conditions with regard to the transfer of shares or of ownership by the licensee;
25. other conditions related to the individual licences for establishment, maintenance and use of public telecommunications network.

 

(2) The conditions and terms of individual licences for radio and television activities shall be defined by the National Council of Television and Radio in accordance the Radio and Television Law.

 

Art. 58. Individual licences for private networks include all, or some, of the requirements under Art. 57 par. (1).

 

Art. 59. Individual licences for the same types of telecommunications networks and services shall set out identical conditions to operators, unless stipulated otherwise by this Law;

 

Art. 60.

 

(1) STC may amend or extend a licence by a written decision on the following grounds:

 

1. Force Majeure;
2. national security considerations;
3. changes in the national legislation and decisions of international organisations, approved by the Republic of Bulgaria;
4. reasons relating to the public interest;

 

(2) Amendments to the licences issued as per Chapter V Section II, relating to allocated radio frequency spectrum, shall be made on the basis of a CoM decision, only for the reasons set out in par. (1).

 

(3) The amendments pursuant to par. 1 shall be made after written notification of the licensee.

 

(4) The decision under par. 1 can be appealed in accordance with the Law on Administrative proceedings. The decision under par. (2) can be appealed in accordance with the Law on Supreme Administrative Court.

 

(5) The licensed operator may submit a written request with STC for change and amendment of the licence. STC shall study how justified the request is and shall estimate the necessity for making the proposed changes and amendments.

 

Art. 61.

 

(1) The licence can be terminated or suspended by decision of STC on the following grounds:

 

1. a written proposal on the part of the licensee, which has been accepted;
2. in case of Force Majeure rendering impossible the performance of the licensed activities;
3. in exceptional circumstances as per the cases of Chapter VII.
4. if the licensed activities cause a threat to the national security or national defence;
5. in the event of death of the licensee, when a natural person. In this case the successors may, within a period of 3 months, file a claim with STC to continue performance of activities. Until decision is taken, successors may proceed to perform activities.
6. if the licensed legal person is liquidated or wound down.

 

(2) If the licence is terminated under the provisions of par. (1). 4 the licensee is entitled to an indemnity, provided that termination is not his own fault.

 

Art. 62.

 

(1) The State Telecommunications Commission, after sending a notice in writing, may order the revocation of the licence in the following cases:

 

1. grave or systematic violation of this Law, of the regulations on its application, or of the licence terms and conditions;
2. financial or technical inability of the licensee to perform activities;
3. actions of the licensee, endangering the national security or offending the public interest.

 

(2) Individual licences for radio and television activities can be revoked by STC after decision of the National Radio and Television Council. Revocation is effected after sending a notice in writing setting a specific time frame.

 

(3) Individual licences for telecommunications networks, issued as per Chapter V Section II, can be revoked with CoM's approval, and after sending a notice in writing setting a specific time frame.

 

(4) STC shall revoke licences if the licensee has not corrected his fault within the time frame set out in the notice.

 

(5) In the decision to revoke the licence, a period of time shall be set, for the duration of which the person shall be prohibited from applying for a new licence for the same activities. This period of time cannot be less than 2 years.

 

(6) The decisions under par. 1 can be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Administrative Proceedings.

 

(7) The decisions of the Council of Ministers under par. (2) and par. (3) can be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

 

Section IV
GRANTING OF INDIVIDUAL LICENCES

Art. 63.

 

(1) The procedure for the grant of individual licences by means of a tender/auction is opened at the initiative of STC, or at the request of a concerned party.

 

(2) If there are requests of concerned parties, STC examines the possibilities for individual licence grant and within 6 months informs the applicant about the result.

 

(3) If the fulfilment of the request is possible, STC shall publish within the same time period an announcement stating its intention to issue an individual licence for telecommunications activities and shall set a term within which all applicants can submit their applications.

 

(4) If the number of applicants is less than, or equal to, the available scarce resource, STC grants licences without tender/auction; if this number is greater, STC opens a tender/auction procedure.

 

Art. 64.

 

(1) To conduct the tender/auction, the Chairman of STC shall appoint with an order an evaluation expert committee.

 

(2) If the subject of activities concerns the national security and defence welfare of the country, representatives of the Ministries of the Interior and Defence, and the Finance Ministry shall take part in the Evaluation Expert Committee.

 

(3) STC Chairman determines with an order the procedure for conducting the sessions, the mechanism for decision taking, preparation of minutes, etc.

 

Art. 65.

 

(1) STC shall publish in local and national press an announcement about the tender/auction for the grant of an individual licence for telecommunications activities using a scarce resource.

 

(2) The announcement under par. (1) shall specify the type of tender/auction, set a date, venue and time, list the necessary documents, the deadline and place to submit an application for participation, the place, deadline and procedure for purchase of the tender/auction package, the initial auction price, the amount and way of payment of the participation deposit, and other specific requirements.

 

Art. 66. Depending on the activities to be licensed, tender/auction package include requirements:

 

1. about the rate of development and/or servicing; about quality of service; about the type of employed technology; requirements relating the country's security and defence, and others;
2. evaluation criteria.

 

Art. 67.

 

(1) All applicants shall submit a written application for participation in the tender/auction and shall attach thereto:

 

1. a registration certificate under the Commerce Law;
2. evidence of financial capacity to perform the activities -- an annual balance sheet and income statement, annual tax statements, bank references, and others;
3. a preliminary technical project and business plan in accordance with the requirements set out in Art. 66;
4. a certificate for payment of the deposit or a bank guarantee for its amount;
5. declaration to keep the confidentiality of the information contained in the tender/auction package;
6. receipt for payment of tender/auction package;
7. other documents.

 

(2) All submitted documents shall be in Bulgarian language.

 

(3) If the auction is closed, each auction package shall include a uniform envelope where candidates may insert their bids.

 

(4) If the documents under par. (1) and par. (2) do not meet the requirements, candidates shall be given a 7-day period to remove any discrepancies. If the discrepancies are not removed within the period mentioned, candidates shall not be allowed to participate.

 

Art. 68.

 

(1) A tender is organised in those cases when the grant of an individual licence necessitates a complex evaluation. The tender may proceed with or without the attendance of the competitors.

 

(2) An auction is organised in those cases when the nature of the activities to be licensed may be performed by a great number of candidates and the important thing is the amount of the submitted bid. The auction may be open or closed.

 

Art. 69. Within two months of expiration of bidding due date, the Tender/auction Committee shall conduct the tender/auction.

 

Art. 70.

 

(1) In case of a tender, bids shall be ranked on the basis of a complex valuation as to which one meets best tender conditions.

 

(2) In case of an auction, candidates shall be ranked on the basis of the amount of bid.

 

Art. 71.

 

(1) Within 7 days of completion of the tender/auction, the Commission conducting the tender/auction shall present a report to the STC Chairman on the completed work and ranking results.

 

(2) On the basis of the documents under par. (1) and article 70, STC shall take a decision to grant a licence to the candidate that has been ranked first.

 

(3) The decision under par. (2) shall order the refund of the deposits of the candidates that have not won the tender/auction.

 

Art. 72.

 

(1) Tender/auction participants shall be notified in writing about the results.

 

(2) The decision under Art. 71(2) can be appealed under the Law on Administrative Proceedings.

 

Art. 73.

 

(1) Within one month of the decision under Art. 71 (2), STC shall grant an individual licence to the winner of the tender/auction.

 

(2) Under the individual licence the winning candidate shall be bound by the proposals made in the tender/auction.

 

Art. 74.

 

(1) If the approved candidate declines the individual licence, this licence shall be offered to the candidate ranked second.

 

(2) If the second ranking candidate declines the licence, the procedure shall be suspended without effecting the issue of any licence.

 

(3) The deposits of the candidates that have declined an individual licence shall not be refunded.

 

 

Section V
CLASS LICENCE

Art. 75. The class licence determines the conditions under which anyone willing and meeting those conditions may perform telecommunications activities. The telecommunications activities which can be performed under a class licence are set out in the list in Art. 39 (2).

 

Art. 76.

 

(1) Prior to the issue of a class licence, STC publishes a draft for review and examines all opinions and objections.

 

(2) The class licence comes into effect as of the date of its publication in the State Gazette, in case the licence itself does not specify a date.

 

Art. 77. Any person willing to perform telecommunications activities under a class licence can do so upon registering with STC.

 

Art. 78. The class licence contains requirements for:

 

1. interconnection of the telecommunications network of the licensee with other licensed networks;
2. connection of approved terminal equipment to the telecommunications network;
3. treatment of all consumers on non-discriminatory basis with respect of their access and use of the services;
4. co-ordination with STC of the general terms of the relationships with the users of services;
5. public announcement of services tariffs;
6. providing customers with sufficient and up-to-date information about bills and tariffs of services;
7. establishing a simple procedure for settlement of disputes with customers;
8. presentation of documents, reports, declarations related to the licensee's activities;
9. compliance with technical standards or requirements, including the service level standards;
10. payment of licence and other fees.

 

Art. 79.

 

(1) STC may amend the terms of the class licence, if this is in the interest of the public.

 

(2) Prior to amending the class licence terms, STC shall publish an announcement in which it shall lay down its reasons for the proposed amendments, providing concerned parties with the opportunity to submit their opinions or objections.

 

(3) STC shall examine all opinions and objections and shall accept those deemed useful.

 

Art. 80.

 

(1) STC may decide to cancel the registration of any party working under a class licence, when that party is in breach of the licence terms and has not stopped the breach, and removed any consequences thereupon, within 30 days of the receipt of a notice requesting that.

 

(2) The decision under par. (1) can be appealed under the Law on Administrative Proceedings.

 

 

Section VI
FREE REGIME

Art. 81.

 

(1) No licence shall be required for building, maintenance and operation of private telecommunications networks for own use, which have no access to public telecommunications networks and do not use radio frequency spectrum, if:

 

1. they are placed in a premise used by one, or jointly by more than one, person;
2. they connect several neighbouring premises, used by one, or jointly by more than one, person;
3. they are located in separate, or mechanically connected, vehicles such as trains, ships and aeroplanes;
4. they are located in premises, used by one or jointly by more than one person, which are interconnected via one, or more, lines leased from public telecommunications network operators;

 

(2) No licence is required for using radio equipment with a little range of operation, which is not used to perform telecommunications activities.

 

The technical requirements that such radio facilities need to meet shall be set out in a CPT regulation.

 

 

Chapter Six
PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATOR

Art. 82. Public telecommunications operators are obliged to provide customers, under conditions of equal treatment, with access to the public telecommunications networks and with the opportunity to use telecommunications services under conditions which are publicly announced.

 

Art. 83. Licences of public telecommunications operators, who provide universal service even under non profitable conditions, and/or perform tasks related to the governing, security and defence of the country include the requirements under Art. 57 (1), as well as:

 

1. obligation to provide a universal service on a non-discriminatory basis. The universal service can be refused only if it is technically impossible to be provided;
2. obligation to collect fees for provided services, including from self, from all users under equal conditions for all;
3. the right to negotiate with other telecommunications operators for the provision of international services, as well as to settle international accounts and payments;
4. the obligation to develop the public telecommunications network in accordance with adopted timetable so that universal service provision is ensured;
5. obligations relating to the provision of local, long distance and international telecommunications services;
6. mechanisms and principles related to setting of tariffs for provided services;
7. obligations related to the implementation and use of different cost accounting systems for provision of different types of services;
8. obligations related to the implementation of cost oriented tariffs for different types of services;
9. opportunity to sign contracts with other persons for the provision of services or for fulfilment of other obligations under the licence;
10. opportunity to enter agreements regulating revenue sharing with other telecommunications service providers;
11. obligation for an overall performance of the licence;
12. obligation to provide information and reports concerning licence performance;
13. obligation to ensure uninterrupted operation of the public telecommunications network, and provision of telecommunications services;
14. obligation to evaluate the degree of satisfaction of the users with provided universal telecommunications services;

 

Art. 84.

 

(1) Public telecommunications operators shall have to establish their networks in such way as to ensure that they are accessible and allow interconnection.

 

(2) Public telecommunications operators shall interconnect their networks under publicly known equal conditions, including prices.

 

(3) STC may issue mandatory instructions regarding access and interconnection of telecommunications operators networks.

 

Art. 85. Public telecommunications operators cannot decline a request for interconnection if it is reasonable and necessary from a technical point of view. If it is impossible, the operator shall have to justify his refusal in writing.

 

Art. 86. When necessary, public telecommunications operators shall be obliged to interconnect their networks with the networks of the authorities, in charge of the security and defence of the country. Interconnection conditions shall have to be negotiated between the parties.

 

Art. 87. Public telecommunications operators shall be obliged to provide interconnection to their networks for the private telecommunications networks of operators in whose licences the possibility for such connection has been provisioned.

 

Art. 88.

 

(1) Public telecommunications operators shall enter interconnect agreements. Interconnect agreements set out the technical and financial terms and shall be presented in STC.

 

(2) STC may request that interconnect agreements be amended when there are well-founded reasons for that.

 

Art. 89.

 

(1) If the telecommunications operators cannot reach an agreement on the terms and order for access to, or interconnection with, their telecommunications networks within 3 months of the request of the concerned party, then either of the parties may refer the dispute to STC.

 

(2) STC is obliged to give opinion under par. (1) within 3 months, as well as set out the conditions for access and interconnection.

 

(3) If either party is unhappy with the decision, it can refer the dispute to court, under the ordinary legal procedure, within one month.

 

Art. 90. Public telecommunications operators may provide leased lines under publicly announced conditions, while adhering to the principle of equality among the parties leasing the lines.

 

 

Chapter Seven
PROVISION TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN EMERGENCIES

Art. 91. The terms and order of using the telecommunications networks in emergency situations such as martial law or war, as well as in cases of natural disasters and accidents, are determined by the CPT Chairman in co-ordination with the Minister of Defence and the Head of General Staff of the Bulgarian Army.

 

Art. 92.

 

(1) The telecommunications operators shall assist to ensure the telecommunications under emergency situations.

 

(2) Obligations, requirements and restrictions related to the country defence and security, as well as in cases of disasters and accidents, shall be set out in the licences that are granted.

 

Art. 93. Upon introducing martial law, or the declaration of a state of war, the CPT Chairman may - if necessary - request STC to suspend, or terminate, the effect of granted licences, as well as to forbid the use of radio equipment and the radio frequency spectrum for civil purposes.

 

Art. 94.

 

(1) With a CoM Ordinance, BTC may be provided with telecommunications facilities with defence functions and installed war-time equipment, which are a part of the national security system. BTC shall use, upgrade and maintain them in a stand-by mode, in order to ensure operational telecommunications in emergency situations.

 

(2) Defence related telecommunications facilities, and the land where they are located, may be separated, liquidated, rented or used as collateral, only with an Ordinance of the Council of Ministers.

 

(3) The telecommunications facilities under par. (2) may be differentiated organisationally and materially in the BTC balance.

 

(4) Telecommunications defence related equipment and war-time facilities may be used during time of peace for civil purposes.

 

(5) The financial resources for building, maintenance, reconstruction and modernisation of the facilities and capacities under par. (1) shall be provided by the State budget, the National Telecommunications System Fund, BTC, and other sources as may be determined by a CoM Ordinance.

 

 

Chapter Eight
TERMINAL EQUIPMENT AND ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY

Section I
TERMINAL EQUIPMENT

Art. 95.

 

(1) Terminal equipment is an equipment connected directly, or indirectly, to a terminal point of the public telecommunications network to transmit, convey, process or receive information. Connection may be carried by a wire, optical fibre, or other electromagnetic media.

 

(2) The terminal equipment market is liberalised.

 

(3) Terminal equipment and appliances, when designated for domestic use, shall be manufactured, imported, advertised, stored for sale, marketed, distributed (free-of-charge or for a fee), connected, directly or indirectly, to public telecommunications networks only if their type has been approved.

 

(4) Where private telecommunications networks are connected to public telecommunications networks under Art. 87, the interconnecting terminal device of the private telecommunications networks must be of a type that has been approved.

 

(5) The permits under Art. 28 (5), item "b", for emitting terminal radio devices are issued after their type has been approved.

 

Art. 96.

 

(1) Certificate of type approval shall be issued if testing finds out that terminal equipment meet the material requirements as set out in the harmonised standards.

 

(2) The CPT Chairman shall determine, with an order, the harmonised standards to be applied in the telecommunications sector. The order shall be promulgated in the State Gazette.

 

Art. 97. The CPT Chairman shall determine, with regulations, the terms for:

 

1. granting laboratory permits to perform type approval tests;
2. determining executive bodies for certification;
3. elaborating and publishing of technical specifications to be met by the devices, subject to testing;
4. connection of the devices to the public networks;
5. evaluation of compliance, and for issue of certificates.

 

Art. 98.

 

(1) The CPT shall determine appropriate marks to stick on the approved devices indicating that they have been approved.

 

(2) The approved terminal devices must be marked.

 

Art. 99. Cryptographic terminal devices and equipment shall be imported, distributed and used after permission is given by the National Cipher Agency at the Ministry of the Interior.

 

 

Section II
ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY

Art. 100.

 

(1) The sale and use of telecommunications equipment for civil purpose - which cause electromagnetic disturbances, or whose operation can be hampered by such disturbances -- can be carried out only if these comply with the essential requirements for electromagnetic compatibility as set out in the harmonised standards.

 

(2) The CPT Chairman shall determine, with an order, the harmonised standards, relating to electromagnetic compatibility, to be applied in the telecommunications sector. The order shall be published in State Gazette.

 

Art. 101. STC assigns the bodies responsible for certification of the electromagnetic compatibility of telecommunications equipment and devices for civil purposes and shall prescribe the procedures of evaluation of the compliance of telecommunications and radio equipment with the safety requirements.

 

Art. 102. The CPT Chairman regulates:

 

1. the categories and groups of telecommunications equipment and devices which must meet requirements for electromagnetic compatibility, as well as equipment broadcasting radio disturbances;
2. conditions for working out and publication of technical specifications for telecommunications equipment subject to compliance evaluation regarding the electromagnetic compatibility requirements;
3. conditions under which permits are issued to laboratories for electromagnetic compatibility tests of telecommunications equipment and facilities;
4. conditions for determining the certification authorities;
5. procedure for evaluation of compliance and for issue of certificates for telecommunications equipment and facilities.

 

 

Chapter Nine
CO-ORDINATION OF CONSTRUCTION WORKS WITH THE PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATORS

Art. 103. While constructing new buildings all investors shall be obliged to envisage in their projects and ensure the building of cable ducts, providing access to telecommunications and cable television networks.

 

Art. 104.

 

(1) All telecommunications operators shall co-ordinate in advance with the local municipality a project for construction on its territory of telecommunications networks and installations.

 

(2) The telecommunications operators shall submit to municipalities the plans of the telecommunications networks and installations to be constructed in order to have them included into the general construction plan.

 

Art. 105.

 

(1) Any person undertaking building works shall co-ordinate in advance with the Municipality the availability and layout of the telecommunications networks and installations on the site of the works and specify with the operators to whom they belong the way of their preservation.

 

(2) The procedure under par. (1) shall not apply for emergency works removing the consequences of natural disasters and failures. In such cases the person undertaking the works shall forthwith notify the corresponding operators who in their turn shall give instructions about the protection of their networks and installations.

 

(3) In the case where any forthcoming works involve relocation of public telecommunications networks or installations, the persons under par. (1), after co- ordination with the telecommunications operators, shall undertake the relocation, at their own expense, prior to commencing activities.

 

Art. 106.

 

(1) Whenever a person on whose property telecommunications networks or installations have been built wishes to undertake reconstruction or new building works, he shall notify in writing the telecommunications operator if the planned works involve equipment removal. The telecommunications operator shall carry out the removal at his own expense on terms agreed upon with the person.

 

(2) If a dispute arises related to the removal, the owner may refer the problem to STC. STC determines a period of time during which the operator is to carry out the removal of the line or installation concerned.

 

 

Chapter Ten
RIGHT TO USE PRIVATE PREMISES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS NEEDS

Art. 107.

 

(1) The public telecommunications operators shall contract with the owners of private estate property the terms of using the property and the air space above it in order to build or maintain, at their own expense, telecommunications installations.

 

(2) The public telecommunications operators shall indemnify the owner for any damage caused on his estate in relation with the works carried out by the operators.

 

(3) In case the parties do not reach an agreement under par. (1) and par. (2), the dispute may be taken to court.

 

Art. 108.

 

(1) The public telecommunications operators are entitled to use, free of charge, tunnels, bridges, roads etc. for the purpose of building of over-head and underground telecommunications networks after having notified in advance the authorities who manage them or the persons who use them. The operators shall ensure the technical safety and take measures not to cause any damages.

 

(2) The order in which the activities under par. (1) shall be carried out by the public telecommunications operators shall be set out in a CPT regulation.

 

Art. 109. The municipalities and mayor quarters provide in the order defined, based on a contract, ground for construction of buildings for establishment of the national telecommunications network.

 

 

Chapter Eleven
TARIFFS AND CHARGES

Section I
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TARIFFS

Art. 110. Telecommunications operators shall set out tariffs for the services provided by them, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, unless stipulated otherwise in a special law.

 

Art. 111.

 

(1) The tariffs for telecommunications services, except those regulated by STC, shall be determined by the telecommunications operators in accordance with their supply and demand on the domestic market. The tariffs shall be published in a daily newspaper.

 

(2) In determining the tariffs, telecommunications operators shall ensure that users are treated equally.

 

(3) Prior to their publication, tariffs for telecommunications services shall be forwarded to STC for information's sake.

 

Art. 112.

 

(1) STC shall regulate the tariffs for services, provided by operators that have an established dominant position on the market in the sense of the Competition Protection Law.

 

(2) STC shall submit tariffs information to the National Commission for Commerce.

 

Art. 113.

 

(1) The tariffs under Art. 112 shall be determined by the telecommunications operators in accordance with the following principles:

 

1. equal treatment of all customers;
2. compliance with the cost of service provision;
3. the pursuit of economically sensible profit;
4. prohibition of cross-subsidising of services, provided under competitive terms;
5. compliance with the international market tariffs to the extent allowed by domestic conditions;
6. facilitation of investments in the field of telecommunications.

 

(2) Operators shall submit services tariffs to STC, for co-ordination, one month prior to their publication along with the pricing documentation.

 

(3) If tariffs do not comply with the principles under par. (1), STC shall oblige operators to re-calculate prices in accordance with the aforementioned principles, or else apply any form of tariff control in pursuance of Art. 114.

 

Art. 114.

 

(1) STC shall also control tariffs for telecommunications services that have been proven to have been provided under conditions of dominant status, or under conditions of unfair competition, in the sense referred to in the Competition Protection Law.

 

(2) STC, after co-ordination with the Competition Protection Commission, may regulate in one of the following ways:

 

1. setting price cap regulation;
2. defining pricing rules and principles;
3. setting fixed prices for a term of 6 months to one year.

 

Art. 115. Universal service tariffs shall be determined on the grounds of a methodology elaborated by STC and approved by the Council of Ministers or some other body authorised by CoM. Methodology specific parameters shall be worked out by STC and approved by the CPT Chairman.

 

 

Section II
LICENCE FEES AND OTHER CHARGES

Art. 116.

 

(1) All licensed operators shall pay the licence fees set out by the licence terms.

 

(2) The licensed state authorities under Art. 53(5) shall not pay licence fees.

 

(3) The licence fees are:

 

1. initial fee - upon the issue of the licence, including the licence preparation expenses;
2. annual fee - for monitoring of licence performance; The annual fee is a percentage of the annual income, VAT not included.

 

Art. 117. All licensed operators shall pay annual fees to use scarce resource from:

 

1. the radio frequency spectrum;
2. the National numbering plan.

 

Art. 118. Determination of the amount of the licence fees and other charges is regulated with an Ordinance of the Minister of Finance based on a proposal of STC.

 

Art. 119. The licence fees revenue collected from the licences issued as per Chapter V Section II shall be distributed as follows:

 

1. Initial fee :
   a) 5% for NCS Fund;
   b) 5% for STC budget;
   c) 90% for the state budget
2. Annual fee - to STC budget.
3. Radio frequency fee:
   a) 20% for NCS Fund;
   b) 30% for STC budget;
   c) 50% for the state budget.

 

Art. 120.

 

(1) Licence fees, as well as radio frequency spectrum fees, set out in the licences for telecommunications activity shall be paid to the STC budget.

 

(2) STC shall transfer 50% of fees revenue to the state budget.

 

(3) STC shall transfer to the Radio & TV Fund annually:

 

1. 80% of the revenue from initial licence fees for radio and TV activities;
2. 50% of the revenue from annual licence fees for radio and TV activities.

 

 

Chapter Twelve
CONTROL

Art. 121.

 

(1) The control over telecommunications activities and sanctions for breach of licences, granted for telecommunications activities shall be exercised by STC. Sanctions for breach of licences, granted for radio and television activities, shall be exercised by the STC following a decision of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

(2) The interaction between STC, the Ministries of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Transportation with respect to supervision of the telecommunications shall be regulated with an instruction, issued jointly by the four ministries.

 

Art. 122. The Chairman of STC shall authorise, with an order, STC officials who shall carry out inspections and prepare offence statements.

 

Art. 123.

 

(1) The Chairman of STC or any other person, explicitly authorised by him, may issue orders by virtue of which the carrying out of telecommunications activities done in violation of primary and secondary legislation, and the licence terms may be suspended until the offence is eliminated .

 

(2) The orders may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Administrative Proceedings.

 

Art. 124.

 

(1) In the case when an administrative penalty can be imposed, the authorised officials under Art. 122 draws up an offence statement in accordance with the procedure of the Administrative Offences and Penalties Law.

 

(2) On the grounds of these statements of offence, the Chairman of STC, or an official authorised by him, shall impose penalties.

 

(3) Penalties may be appealed under the Administrative Offences and Penalties Act.

 

Art. 125. Upon establishing offences pursuant to Art. 124 (1) the authorised officials may seize and retain material evidence relating to the establishment of offence according to Art. 41 of the Administrative Offences and Penalties Law.

 

Art. 126. While performing their obligations, authorised STC officials are entitled to:

 

1. free access to the locations subject to supervision;
2. check the documents proving eligibility of the persons in the locations subject to supervision;
3. require information, evidence and documents associated with the exercising of the control monitoring;
4. monitor the quality parameters of services;
5. carry out the necessary inspections to find out the quality parameters of the services.

 

 

Chapter Thirteen
ADMINISTRATIVE PENAL PROVISIONS

Art. 127.

 

(1) Whoever carries out telecommunications activities, subject to licensing, without having been granted the necessary licence, or after expiration or revocation of the licence, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 10, 000, 000 to 50, 000, 000.

 

(2) Whoever carries out telecommunications activities without registration, under a regime of a class licence, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 1, 000, 000.

 

Art. 128.

 

(1) Whoever breaks the conditions of the individual licence granted to him shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

(2) Whoever operates under a class licence, and breaks its terms, is liable to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 2, 000, 000.

 

Art. 129. Whoever provides leased lines to other operators for money, in breach of & 11 of the Transitional and Final Provisions, is liable to a fine of BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 130. Whoever breaks the confidentiality of the telecommunications, conveyed over the telecommunications networks, if the deed does not constitute a crime, is liable to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 131. Whoever provides lines for connection of non-licensed networks, subject to licensing under this Law, shall be liable to a fine of BGL 2, 000, 000 to 10, 000, 000.

 

Art. 132. Whoever interferes in and/or alters the contents of a communication of a third party shall be liable to a fine from BGL 200, 000 to 2, 000, 000.

 

Art. 133.

 

(1) Whoever makes use of a public telecommunications network for passing threatening, disturbing or abusive communications or calls shall be liable to a fine from BGL 200, 000 to 1, 000, 000 .

 

(2) Whoever transmits via a public telecommunications network false or misleading calls for help, accident, or alarm, if the deed does not constitute a crime, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 134. Whoever makes use of telecommunications installations for his own profit at the expense of a telecommunications operator, or of a third party (traffic theft), if this does not constitute a crime, is liable to a fine from BGL 3, 000, 000 to 10, 000, 000, whereupon any damage incurred shall be indemnified according to the general court claim procedure.

 

Art. 135. Whoever manufactures, imports and distributes without due authorisation radio equipment for civil purposes which, when in operation, engages part of the radio frequency spectrum, shall be liable, if the deed does not constitute a crime, to a fine from BGL 3, 000, 000 to 15, 000, 000.

 

Art. 136. Whoever causes damage or failure of public telecommunications networks or installations, whereby he cancels or obstructs the telecommunications, shall be liable, if the deed does not constitute a crime, to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 5, 000, 000, whereupon the damage shall be indemnified according to the general court claim procedure.

 

Art. 137. Whoever manufactures, imports, distributes and/or makes use of a terminal device and radio installation, designated for a direct or indirect interconnection to a public telecommunications network in the country, where its type has not been approved following the established procedure, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 138.

 

(1) Whoever manufactures, imports and/or distributes approved, but unmarked terminal devices or radio installations, shall be liable, if the deed does not constitute a crime, to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 3, 000, 000.

 

(2) Whoever fraudulently attaches an approval mark at a terminal device or a radio installation, shall be liable, if the deed does not constitute a crime, to a fine from BGL 500, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 139.

 

(1) Whoever manufactures, distributes, imports or uses for civil purposes radio equipment causing radio interference in violation of the regulations for electromagnetic compatibility, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

(2) The Chairman of STC may terminate, with an order, the operation or management of the equipment under par. (1) until faults have been removed,

 

Art. 140. Whoever manufactures, imports, distributes or uses for civil purposes telecommunications equipment causing radio interference without electromagnetic compatibility certificate shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 141.

 

(1) Whoever, upon a request by STC, does not provide the required information, or provides false, or inaccurate information, shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

(2) Whoever obstructs the implementation of the control during or in relation to the performance of the functions of STC under Art. 126 shall be liable to a fine from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 5, 000, 000.

 

Art. 142. For the offences under Art. 127, 128, 129, 131, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139 (1), 140, 141(2) committed by legal persons, property sanctions shall be imposed to the amount of the fines envisaged.

 

Art. 143.

 

(1) When the offences under the foregoing articles have been repeated, the fine or property sanction imposed shall be twice the amount of that imposed for the first offence.

 

(2) In the context of this Law, an offence shall be deemed to have been repeated if committed within one year of the date of imposing a penalty for the same type of offence.

 

Art. 144. Twenty per cent of the fines collected and property sanctions enforced under the provisions of this chapter, shall be credited to the budget of STC.

 

 

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

& 1. In the context of this Law:

 

1. Telecommunications network is a combination of interconnected nodes, lines and equipment serving to carry out telecommunications.
2. Public telecommunications network is a telecommunications network intended to provide public telecommunications services.
3.Private telecommunications network means a telecommunications network for private needs or for providing telecommunications services to closed user groups.
4. Limited resource is the resource, scarce by nature or for technical reasons.
5. Fixed telephone network is a public switchable telecommunications network intended to convey sound information in the frequency band 300-3400 Hz between fixed terminal points of the network for implementing of:
    a) ordinary telephone service;
    b) fax messages;
    c) low speed data transmission via modem.
The access to a terminal point of the network, designated for the customer, is through number(s) of the National numbering plan.
The cable television systems are not a part from the fixed telephone network.
6. Terminal point of the network is a physical point at which the customer gets access to the public telecommunications network. The location of the terminal point is determined by the State Telecommunications Commission and constitutes the borderline of the public telecommunications network for the purposes of regulation.
7. Interconnection means physical or logical connection of telecommunications networks so that the customers connected to any of these networks get access to customers, connected to other networks or to services, provided via these other networks.
8. Leased lines are telecommunications facilities which ensure transmission of telecommunications between separate or terminal points of the network without the possibility of re-routing.
9. Telecommunications service means carrying out of telecommunications in commercial way.
10. Public telecommunications services are telecommunications services, designed for general access.
11. Ordinary telephony service means connection of subscribers through the fixed telephone network. The information services and other auxiliary services which are provided by means of the network, built for ordinary services, are not considered as such.
12. Radio and television activities is preparation and creation of radio and television programmes and of additional information to be transmitted via telecommunications networks.
13. Telecommunications operator is any person who carries out telecommunications on the basis of a licence, registration or free regime.
14. Public telecommunication operator is any person who, on the basis of a licence builds, operates and maintains a public telecommunications network and/or provides public telecommunications services.
15. Private telecommunications operator is any person to whom a licence is issued for building, operation and maintenance of a private telecommunications network.
16. Electromagnetic compatibility is the aptitude of a device or an installation to operate at a determined quality level in a working electromagnetic environment without producing inadmissible electromagnetic interference with other devices, operating in the same electromagnetic environment.
17. Radio frequency spectrum encompasses the radio frequencies from 3 kHz to 3000 GHz.
18. Radio installations are the emitting, emitting/receiving, or receiving devices serving the purposes of the radio, or receivers used to get broadcast programmes, including the antennas necessary for their functioning.
19. Licence is a permit in the context of Art. 18 par. 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.
20. Cryptographic protection are the ways and means designated to cover (encode) the exchanged information in such way that it remains coherent only for the authorised persons.
21. Telecommunications for maritime and air search and rescuing and safety information are all telecommunications defined as such in the radio rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
22. Provision of telecommunications services for maritime and air search and rescuing and safety information is not considered a public service.

 

 

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

& 2. The Telecommunications Law (promulgated in the State Gazette issue 27 of 1975, amended issues 63 of 1976, 36 of 1979. 36 of 1986, 12 of 1988 and 77 of 1966) is hereby repealed in its part regulating the telecommunications.

 

& 3. Article 4 par. 1 item 4 and Art. 5 par. 3 of the Concessions Act (promulgated in the State Gazette issue 92 of 1995, issue 16 of 1996 - Decision N0 2 of the Constitutional Court 1996, amended issue 44 of 1966, issues 61 and 123 of 1997) are amended as follows:

 

1. In Art. 4 par. 1 item 5 of the Concessions Law the words "E IAIOOO_EUAIIE" , meaning "and telecommunicative", shall be cancelled.
2. In Art. 5 item 4 is revoked.

 

& 4. In ?6(a) of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the State Property Law after the words "OUA_AIIE O_", meaning "sovereign rights", a comma shall be inserted along with the text "OOAI IO OO AIOI IA A UOUIOAIO _UO", meaning "unless established otherwise by law" .

 

& 5. In ?10 (1) of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Municipal Property Law the words "IIn ?EUAIIO E UAAE, IOEUO O IOEUI, UOUIE  UOI EIE OA O U OO IIO I U_OOIO _UEAOUO, UEpI EIE O_AO_E UEA O _EIO EIU_AOUO", meaning "including those which are included in the capital, the stock fund or are registered in the balance of a company, a firm or an enterprise with state property", shall be deleted.

 

& 6. Art. 8 of the Law on Value-Added Tax (published in the State Gazette, issue 90/1993, modified issue 57/1995, issue 16, 56, 104/1996, issue 51, 86, 111/1997, issue 15, 71/1998) shall include Par. 8 and 9 as follows:

(8) providing services for acceptance and delivery of parcels, payment order and postal checks, for which there are state-defined prices as per Art. 10 of the Law on prices in benefit of persons- foreign operators situated outside the country;
(9) providing telecommunications services for which there are state-defined prices as per Art. 10 of the Law on prices in benefit of persons- foreign operators situated outside the country. "

& 7. This law shall not apply with respect to the building up, use, maintenance and monitoring of telecommunications networks and radio communications for the particular needs of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the National Security Agency and the National Intelligence Service, as well as with respect to the internal allocation of the frequencies and laying down of call signs for their official radio communications. They may use the public telecommunications networks and services in accordance with the provisions of this law.

& 8.

(1) Until 31 December 1998 the CPT shall be financed by the National Telecommunication System Fund.

(2) The Council of Ministers shall, within 1 month of coming into effect of the Telecommunications Law, set up the State Telecommunications Commission (STC). Until 31 December 1998 STC shall be financed by the National Telecommunications System Fund with the CPT. STC revenue from activities during that period shall go to the NCS Fund.

(3) the transitional residual amount in NCS Fund with the CPT as of 1 January 1999 shall be distributed as follows:
   a) 25% go to the national Telecommunications Fund;
   b) 75% go to STC;

(4) the NCS Fund shall be accorded with Chapter III of the Telecommunications Law as of 1 January 1999.

& 9. The Council of Ministers shall within one month of the coming into effect of the Law constitute the National Radio Frequency Council, whereas till then the Interdepartmental Radio Frequency Commission shall perform the functions related to the distribution of radio frequency spectrum.

& 10.

(1) On the basis of Art. 18, par. 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, the state shall establish State monopoly:
   a) to provide an ordinary telephony service (local, long distance, transit and international) between terminal points of the fixed telephony network till 31 December 2002.
   b) to provide leased lines under publicly announced conditions until 31 December 2002.

(2) The state shall allow the performance of the activities under par. (1) with a licence issued to BTC by STC, on the basis of a CoM decision.

(3) Tariffs of services under par. (1) shall be determined with an accordance with the methodology developed by STC and adopted by CoM. The specific methodology parameters shall be developed by STC and approved by the CPT Chairman.

& 11.

(1) Each person may request to lease lines without the right to release them.

(2) Public telecommunications operators are obliged to establish their networks using leased lines.

(3) BTC refusal to provide leased lines may be appealed before STC. The dispute shall be resolved within one month, and if additional investigations are necessitated - within three months

(4) When BTC is unable to provide leased lines, and the requesting party is a licensed public telecom operator, then he may ask STC to allow him to construct own lines. When those lines use free radio frequency spectrum, the necessary licence for that shall be issued without tender/auction.

(5) For the needs of governing, defence and security of the country BTC shall provide leased lines to the related departments with priority.

& 12. The provision under Art. 90 shall be applied after 31 December 2002;

& 13.

(1) BTC shall continue to use the radio frequency spectrum and to perform the activities set out in the Licence issued by the CPT, before the enactment of the new Telecommunications Law.

(2) Within six months of the passage of the new Telecommunications Law, STC shall issue a licence to BTC, which shall contain the activities included in the current licence. The necessary radio frequency spectrum for performance of activities shall be allocated with the new licence issue, on the basis of a CoM decision. BTC licence shall be granted without tender/auction.

& 14.

(1) The persons who, on the basis of licences issued prior to the coming into effect of the Telecommunications Law, have lawfully acquired the rights to carry out telecommunications activities, shall submit within 3 months applications for bringing their licences in conformity with the Law. Applications should enclose endorsed papers verifying their identity or their court registration.

(2) Within 15 months STC shall grant those persons licences for telecommunications activities, licences as per Chapter V Section II, as well as radio and TV activities licences for a term equal to the one remaining from their previous licences, but for no less than 2 years as from the issue date.

(3) In the way, and within the time frame, under par. (1) licences are issued to the persons, whose previous licences have expired. Submitting applications according to the Concessions Law shall bring their new licences in conformity with that law. Licences shall be granted for a period of 2 years as of the grant date.

(4) Persons who perform telecommunications activities on the basis of licences that have been issued after the enactment of the Concessions Law, may apply for a licence as per the general procedures within the time frames set out in par. (1). If no licence is issued within three months, then the persons shall terminate their activities.

& 15. The persons who carry out telecommunications activities in violence of the licences issued to them are obliged within the 3 month period for submitting the application under & 14 par. (1) to eliminate the violation of the licence conditions. If this does not take place STC shall not issue the requested licence, and the persons shall terminate their activities.

& 16.

(1) The persons who at the date of coming into effect of this Law carry out telecommunications activities without a licence shall have 6 months to take the necessary measures to be issued a licence in accordance with this Law. If the persons do not take the necessary measures, they will terminate their activities.

(2) The persons who at the date of coming into effect of this Law have filed applications for new licences for telecommunications activities, shall have six months to confirm their application and to render their documentation in compliance with the provisions of this Law. Confirmed applications shall retain the initial number with which they have been submitted.

(3) Persons who have filed applications for a licence, but are performing telecommunications activities without having been granted a licence, shall, too, have to conform their applications with the law. The confirmed applications shall keep their initial incoming number. .

(4) The persons under par. (1) shall be fined (one-off), or imposed a property sanction, with a fine in an amount from BGL 1, 000, 000 to 10, 000, 000. The amount of the fine, or sanction, shall depend on the type, size and duration of the telecommunications activities that have been performed.

(5) The persons under par. (3) shall be fined (one-off), or imposed a property sanction in an amount from BGL 500, 000 to 1, 000, 000.

& 17. STC members shall be appointed as follows: one member for a term of seven years, two for a term of five years, two for a term of two years. Unfulfilled terms shall not count when applying the limitation for only two consecutive terms.

This law was approved by the XXXVIIIth National Assembly on July 27, 1998 and it stamped with the official seal of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria.