Landline competition delayed by court decision

| December 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

CICRA has confirmed that giving consumers in the Channel Islands a choice of fixed line telecoms supplier remains a priority following a decision of the Royal Court of Jersey which postpones the introduction of landline competition.

Under the terms of a Final Notice issued in May, CICRA directed JT to make a wholesale lined rental (WLR) product available by 7 November 2013, which would, in particular, have allowed other operators to lease landlines from JT to resell to their customers.

CICRA chief executive, Andrew Riseley, said customers wanted the freedom to choose their landline supplier and to access bundled telecom services as was the case in Europe and in much of the rest of the world.

“There are operators in both Guernsey and Jersey who wish to provide new services to those customers,” he said.

“Our experiences in regulating mobile telecoms demonstrate how important healthy competition is in delivering better outcomes for consumers and we believe it is also the right course of action for fixed lines.”

The court upheld the key principle of CICRA’s decision rejecting JT’s arguments that it was wrong for CICRA to require JT to introduce WLR. The court also accepted that it was right for CICRA to impose fixed deadlines on JT for implementing WLR.

However, it found that CICRA should have allowed JT nine months, rather than six months, to implement WLR given the difficulties JT faced with its billing system implementation.

The court also reinforced CICRA’s obligation to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed by finding that submissions by JT should have been made available to the entire CICRA board.

Mr Riseley said CICRA was now considering its next steps regarding landline competition in the islands and would provide further details early in the New Year.

“We have noted the comments of the court with respect to our internal procedures. Following the court’s decision we are looking forward to working with all operators to make landline competition a reality,” he said.

“CICRA is determined to ensure that consumers in the Channel Islands finally get choice and competition in this market.”

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Category: Finance & Business

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