The Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) would have a budget of 1,700 million pesos, which implies an increase of 2.6%, this with respect to the 1,600 million pesos that were assigned to it last year, according to the Budget Project of Expenditures of the Federation 2023 (PPEF).
Since the beginning of the six-year term, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has shown his disagreement with the task of autonomous organizations such as the IFT, whom he has even threatened with his disappearance. In 2020, Ricardo Monreal, Morena’s parliamentary coordinator in the Senate, proposed merging Cofece with the IFT to reduce spending by both regulators. Although the initiative did not advance, it did become a factor of instability for the telecoms regulator.
So far this six-year term, the IFT has faced budget reductions: from 2018 to 2021, it went from 1.9 million pesos to 1.6 million pesos, a reduction led the regulatory body to propose the cancellation or postponement of projects in 2020 to adjust to what was assigned to him.
In addition, the IFT currently faces a human resource crisis. Since 2020, the Institute has worked with two interim presidencies, the first with Adolfo Cuevas, with whom an atmosphere of mistrust was created when he was implicated in Ricardo Monreal’s proposal for the disappearance of the regulator. Vladimir Rosas Pablo, director attached to the office of commissioner Cuevas, appeared as the author of the project to eliminate it, and in its place give way to the creation of the National Institute of Markets and Competition for Welfare (INMECOB).
In February of this year, and in the midst of a tense atmosphere within the Institute, Cuevas ended his interim presidency. The baton then passed to commissioner Javier Juárez Mojica, who has managed to regain confidence within the Institute. But the lack of designation of commissioners still prevents its Plenary from operating effectively.
Now there are only four of the seven that the Plenary requires to operate, which prompted a change in the organic statute to continue. But there is still the risk of a strike or barriers to resolutions to competition, regulatory provisions, among others.
Recently, the IFT has played a new card: to issue a constitutional controversy to force the Executive to appoint the three missing commissioners and whose profiles it has dismissed several times. The appointments in the IFT have a technical nature, rather than a political one, but the lack of assignment of profiles by the Executive still keeps the regulator in suspense.