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Partner and head of Carey’s Corporate / Telecom Group. His practice areas span from corporate and business law, financing, mergers and acquisitions to the regulatory and transactional aspects related to the telecommunications industry, including the Telecom law and regulations, concessions, licenses and permits, and state contracts. Mr. Silva has been appointed representative and/or board member of several multinational companies operating in Chile, including banks.
Telecoms Law Practice:
After 5 years under discussion in the Chilean Congress, on June 11th, 2012, the long expected bill that regulates the installation of telecommunications antennas and its towers has become a Law in Chile. Law N° 20.599 (the “Antenna Law”) affects not only the new telecommunication antennas and towers to be installed in the future but also some of the infrastructure already installed within the Chilean territory.
One of the most significant innovations contained in the Antenna Law is the new requirement of an installation permit which will be granted by the corresponding local authority: the Municipal Work Department. According to the Antenna Law, the relevant telecoms operators will now have to comply with a complex procedure on which the direct participation of the affected community is considered, before the installation of any antenna and its tower.
Depending on the height of the antenna tower (higher than 12 meters or higher than 3 meters and lower than 12 meters) the documentation and information that will have to be filed before the Municipal Work Department will vary.
Similarly, the applicable procedure for obtaining the installation permit will be different depending not only on the height of the antenna towers to be installed but also on other special situations related to the areas where the antenna towers are intended to be installed, such as “risk areas”, “protection areas” or “touristic interest areas”.
In rural areas and when the antenna tower height is equal or less than 3 meters as well as in some other special cases, an installation notice will be enough requirement for installing an antenna and its tower.
Another important new obligation that the Antenna Law sets forth for the telecoms operators is the requirement to implement one of these 2 alternatives at the moment of installing an antenna and its tower:
i) Camouflage of the antenna and its tower. This mechanism consists in a sort of “costume” for the antenna and its tower in order to prevent the urbanism impact caused by these structures and harmonize them with the corresponding environment. Typical examples of this kind of measure are the antennas and its towers camouflaged in the form of palms, trees, bell towers, etc.
ii) Mitigation measures in favor of the community. According to the Antenna Law the mitigation measures may consist of either (i) the implementation of telecommunication services, or (ii) the improvement of green areas, pavements, bike lanes, luminaries, ornament or other similar measures.
According to the installation procedure established in the Antenna Law, the members of the community affected by the installation of an antenna and its tower will be entitled to participate in the decision for the selection of one of the above mentioned options.
In 1905, Francisco Carey (1873-1946) begins to practice law independently in Antofagasta, a major business center in the north of Chile. His law firm grows steadily and his clients include the major mining and nitrate companies of the time. One of such clients, the Antofagasta-Bolivia railway (FCAB), a U.K. corporation whose stock is still traded on the London Stock Exchange, was counseled by three generations of attorneys of the Carey family over the last one hundred years.
Since its foundation, Carey has been committed to professional excellence. It is a core conviction of the firm that the practice of law is an honorable and enriching activity, which carries with it the responsibility of following the highest ethical standards.