Itzik: Communications authority to be set up by end of 2005

Incoming Minister of Communications Dalia Itzik: The new agency will be modeled on the US Federal Communications Commission.

Incoming Minister of Communications Dalia Itzik today signaled that she intends to revolutionize Israel's communications market. At a special conference yesterday, Itzik presented a detailed and comprehensive plan for the establishment of a communications authority that will replace the Ministry of Communications and the Cable for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting. The new agency will be modeled on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Under the plan, the Ministry of Communications will be abolished on January 1, 2006, and will be replaced by a professional agency, which will decide policy in Israel's communications market.

Itzik said a professional communications authority was necessary. "The communications industry has a turnover of NIS 25 billion a year, and employs tens of thousands of people throughout the country. The establishment of a professional agency will ensure that all decisions taken will be professional, and serve the sector's development, which is one of the leading sectors of the economy.

The plan for establishing a communications authority has been in the works for years, but every previous minister of communications always avoided implementing it at the last moment, fearing that it would affect their political power. Commenting on this point, Itzik said, "I have the responsibility for ensuring the development of Israel's communications market. Everything else is irrelevant."

Itzik also presented the first agreement of its kind yesterday, which she reached with the National Union of Government Employees and the Ministry of Communications workers committee for the voluntary retirement of ministry employees who will not be hired by the new communications authority.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 30, 2004

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