ISPs face-off over pricing

31 Oct 2005

A war is brewing in Azerbaijan’s internet access market, with the country’s largest ISP coming under attack from more than 20 of its rivals for its price cutting policy and alleged links with dominant, state-backed fixed line operator AzTelecom. 21 ISPs united under the banner of the Internet Service Providers of Azerbaijan (ISPA) have accused Azeronline of damaging competition by reducing its prices to the point where they are unable to compete. Azeronline is currently offering its users 200 hours of internet access for a flat AZM90,000 (USD21.5) fee. The ISPA claims that because of its alleged ties with AzTelecom, Azeronline is offering services at unmatchable prices and has threatened to block its IP addresses and impede the exchange of e-mails. Azeronline has countered by saying that it is a private company in no way related to the PTO and therefore has no unfair advantage over its rivals, thus rendering their accusations baseless. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has now stepped in to mediate the disagreement.

Azerbaijan, AzTelekom