PCCW threatens legal action against Ofta over VoIP

6 Oct 2004

Hong Kong’s dominant wireline telco PCCW has stepped up its already vociferous opposition to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority’s (Ofta’s) handling of the burgeoning voice over internet protocol (VoIP) market by threatening legal action against the regulator. VoIP operators have played a significant part in PCCW losing twelve percentage points from its fixed line market share since mid-2002 by significantly undercutting the traditional telco’s local voice tariffs. PCCW is arguing that its VoIP rivals are misinterpreting the communications law by routing their cheap IP calls over its network, claiming that any operator offering services without its own infrastructure is in breach of its operating licence. PCCW says it will ask for a judicial review of the regulator’s actions unless Ofta stops the practice before the end of the week. By calling for such an investigation PCCW would essentially be looking to hand responsibility for the telcoms sector to the Hong Kong courts.