NTC eyes small firms
The national telecom regulator will consider allowing small licensees an alternative to cost-based interconnection charges, in order to improve their competitiveness against dominant players.
Sudharma Yoonaidharma of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), said yesterday the NTC would now define which licensees were dominant and which counted as smaller companies.
He said the bigger players would only be allowed to compute the interconnection charge via a cost-based formula, while smaller licensees could compute the rate on a basis that would hopefully provide a more level playing field in the market.
NTC draft regulations covering the interconnection charge currently say all licensees must pay cost-based interconnection fees.
Sudharma said Triple T Broadband, a broadband-Internet and fixed-telephone subsidiary of TT&T Plc, could be considered a small licensee.
The draft regulations require all telecom operators to share voice and data revenue between the two networks. The NTC announced the interconnection charge regulations in the Royal Gazette last Wednesday.
NTC subpanels are being set up to determine interconnection points and oversee the interconnection of each network. It will also have to establish a body to solve the interconnection dispute.
True Move and Total Access Communication have repeatedly said they planned to stop paying the access charge to TOT Plc and pay the interconnection fee only, in order to avoid incurring a double cost.
All private cellular concessionaires of CAT Telecom Plc currently pay an access charge to TOT for connecting them to different networks via TOT's network.