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Slovak Telecom Contemplates Putting TU Decision to Court

SITA | 08.10.2004

Dominant fixed line telecommunications provider Slovak Telecom respects the final decision of the Telecommunications Office (TU) chairman Milan Luknar on the network interconnection terms. However, the company disagrees with the decision and contemplates turning to a court concerning its certain points, which it considers unclear and allowing various explanations. Slovak Telecom also studies possibility to turn to a court in connection with the question whether the TU had a right to incorporate conditions on free choice of operator into draft interconnection contracts.

The chairman of the Telecommunications Office was the second-instance authority to decide on the definitive version of interconnection terms, which would enable alternative operators to launch standard operation and cooperation with dominant fixed line operator Slovak Telecom. Most of the involved parties appealed against the original verdict, that the market regulator issued in June after long negotiations between alternative operators and Slovak Telecom that ended in deadlock. Alternative operators chiefly objected high interconnection fees and the point of connection between alternative operators and the Slovak Telecom. In addition to Slovak Telecom, the verdict applies to new holders of fixed-line voice service licenses eTel Slovensko, s.r.o., GlobalTel Slovensko, s.r.o., Dial Telecom a.s. and GTS Slovakia s.r.o

Alternative operators have already presented their mixed feelings concerning the final interconnection terms. They agreed that the decision would improve situation on dial-up Internet market. Also prices for calls of corporate clients will go down. On the other hand, the set interconnection fees will not enable competition in voice services for households, Association of Telecommunications Providers (ATO) claims.

Interconnection fees that the Telecommunications Office chairman set are twice as high as average fees in the European Union. Operators should pay SKK 0.75 to SKK 0.80 for every minute in peak hours, which is 1.5 times higher than in the Czech Republic, he added.

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