Wednesday 19th April, 2006

 

TSTT moves against rate arbitration panel

 
 
 
 
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BY ASHA JAVEED

TSTT has filed a judicial review of an arbitration panel set up by the Telecommunications Authority to determine interconnection rates.

The application was made last Wednesday and the High Court moved the date of an interim hearing between TSTT and Digicel originally scheduled for April 18 to April 20.

The arbitration panel, which consists of Rory McMillan, an attorney based in Switzerland and two directors of the TATT—Republic Bank economist Ronald Ramkissoon and UWI engineer Shahid Hussain, was appointed by TATT to resolve an interconnection dispute following a notice filed by Digicel in January. The panel had 90 days to make a decision.

On March 31, after TSTT had installed the necessary interconnection equipment, the panel determined that an interim rate of “sender gets all” would be in effect until April 18, with the final rates being determined in June.

Lisa Agard, TSTT’s vice president legal, carrier and regulatory services said TSTT filed an application to “judicially review the panel’s order on the grounds that the panel has no jurisdiction to make or set interim rates.”

She said the company had also obtained a “stay of those parts of the panel order that dealt with directions for the setting up of interim rates.”

Both the panel and TSTT are set to meet in court for a review today.

She said the company hoped to unite with Digicel on this issue.

“We do not think the panel has the power to set interim rates,” she said.

The “sender gets all” model means that either provider will keep revenue generated by calls on its network. A call termination fee, on each other’s network has yet to be determined.

 

 

 

 

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