MIAMI – The Ibero-American Telecommunications Organization (OTI) started on Monday their closed-door meetings in Miami to discuss issues such as threats to freedom of expression, the US immigration policy and the regulation of online services like Netflix.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, Costa Rica’s ex-president Laura Chinchilla and representatives from the 31 members of the organization are among the participants of the meeting.
The OTI members consist of major content and telecommunications companies from 22 Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in Latin America and the United States.
The meetings, held behind closed doors to ensure “greater freedom during the discussion,” serve to identify problems and opportunities, Federico Gonzalez Luna, executive director of the OTI said.
In addition to specific telecommunications-related topics, the meetings also focus on global “megatrends” such as threats to freedom of expression, especially attacks on journalists, and laws or administrative provisions restricting the exercise of that right.
Another issue that will be addressed at this meeting is the impact of tightening US immigration policies and the tax plans of the Trump government.
Regarding the so-called Over The Top (OTT) online services, such as Netflix, Luna stated that Ibero-American governments have not been able to develop enough policies to regulate these services, because it is complicated and “we do not know how to do it.”
Luna suggested that the organization should follow the direction taken by Colombia, which has started to establish rules and tax regulations for OTT services which are in line with the treatment of traditional media and pay television.
The meeting will also discuss the necessity to uphold the rights of intellectual property in the telecommunication industry and the effects of the downturn in television advertising.