Universal Service is a mechanism to allow, in the long term, access to the entire Moroccan population to basic telecommunication services: telephony and internet. Carrying out the tasks of the Universal Service was one of the foundations of the reform of the telecommunications sector in 1998, and is today one of the major projects undertaken by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT).
The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Committee is an interdepartmental committee established at the Head of Government, and is composed of:
The Chairman of the Committee may invite to CGSUT meetings, any governmental authority or agency concerned with the agenda and the work of the Committee.
The Management Committee of the Telecommunications Universal Service is responsible for:
The committee shall prepare an annual report of its activities and the progress of the implementation of programs falling under universal service.
Funding of the Universal Service is provided by the FSUT, created for this purpose under the Finance Act of 2005. The FSUT is financed through contributions of telecom operators (at about 2% of their turnover). The fund may also receive any contribution such as donations and bequests allocated in the development of universal telecommunications service programs.
Law No. 55-01 above has extended the scope of the Universal Service to be redefined as a telecommunications service, not just a telephone service, by including the provision of value added services including those allowing internet access.
This new definition includes:
The Telecommunications Universal Service in Morocco is governed by Law No. 24-96 of Aug 7, 1997, as amended and supplemented by Law No. 55-01 of November 8, 2004. This has been complemented by the adoption of Decree No. 2-97-1026 dated February 25, 1998, as amended and supplemented by Decree No. 2-05-771 dated July 13, 2005, and by the specifications of operators of public telecommunications networks.
Through these provisions, the legislature has established rules for managing Universal Service, and by a clear definition of mechanisms for its implementation. Thus, the following works were carried out:
The "pay or play" mechanism, chosen by the Moroccan legislator offers existing ERPTs two ways to participate in carrying out the Universal Service mandate: ERPTs can either pay their financial contributions to the universal Service Fund or carry out the Universal Service missions established by the CGSUT.
ERPTs, having chosen to perform Universal Service tasks by themselves, may submit to the judgment of CGSUT their Universal Service program proposals. Once validated, the conditions of program achievements are established in a particular set of specifications.
For programs defined by the CGSUT under a government development strategy for Universal Service, a competitive bidding pursuant to Law No. 24-96, as amended and supplemented, will be launched to determine the operator to be responsible with implementing these programs.