Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ISPs, PTCL row settled …

Pin It ISPs, PTCL row settled ISLAMABAD (May 19 2009): Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has decided to allow the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and DSL operators to buy Internet bandwidth from backbone operators other than PTCL

thus settling a two years row of ISPs versus PTCL. ISPs has been complaining to PTA to amend their DSL Interconnect Agreement with the PTCL signed during the monopoly days of PTCL few years ago in which ISPs were restricted to procure Internet bandwidth from PTCL only.

Since telecom deregulation in 2004, new operators have laid their infrastructure nationally as well as internationally and two years back, second alternate backbone provider, TWA, started its services in the country.

But DSL operators who are major purchaser of Internet bandwidth, were restrained by their unilateral agreement with PTCL not to buy bandwidth form any operator other than PTCL. ISPs have been complaining to PTA time and again against this monopolistic and anti-competitive restriction that did not allow them to have redundancy and benefit of competitive prices from alternate operator.

PTA, after a series of negotiations, have finally issued the minutes of the meeting held between ISPAK (Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan) and PTCL in PTA on 5 May 2009 in which it was decided that ISPs will be free to buy Internet bandwidth from third party operators and would be allowed to their optical fiber cable to one PTCL exchange per city. PTA has also decided that PTCL will not increase charges of its leased circuits used by DSL operators for inter-exchange bandwidth for next one year.

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