The interconnection rate saga continues

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, February 3, 2010
ICASA is absolutely right. It may agree to contractual terms that limit its statutory obligation to regulate interconnection.  It legally cannot do so, and as a matter of policy, should not do so.  Well done!
But is this stopping the three mobile cellular licensees from reducing interconnection rates?  Absolutely not.  Under the EC Act, ICASA must make regulations and after that, all interconnection agreements must be vetted by it to make sure they comply with the regulations.  However, no regulations yet exist.  And in any event, the draft regulations have nothing at all to do with pricing.
Pricing is regulated in terms of licence conditions and the COA/CAM regulations made under the old Telecommunications Act.  The requirement to file tariffs was set out in the various MCTS licences (and presumably those provisions were inserted into converted licences). 
So, the procedure right now for licensees to reduce interconnection rates is to just file a new tariff.  Because the rates are decreasing (not increasing) it is unlikely that ICASA would have any reasons or authority object (unless of course, the tariff filing tried to limit ICASA's obligation to regulate).

Tags: interconnection  regulations 
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