CWP looks to freeze rivals accused of abusing internet interconnection loophole

27 Jun 2006

Panama’s incumbent telco Cable & Wireless Panama (CWP) has asked two enterprise arbitration courts to freeze assets belonging to rival operators TeleCarrier and Galaxy Communications (which operates as ClaroCOM) worth USD14.6 million, according to BNamericas quoting local daily La Prensa. CWP has accused both operators of illegally offering free dial-up internet services at its expense. A legal loophole means that CWP is obliged to pay ISPs a USD0.012 per minute connection fee for all of their users accessing the internet. The ISPs in turn do not need to charge their clients for internet access, and are instead content to make their profits purely from fees received from CWP, which says it spends around USD500,000 per month on interconnection. TeleCarrier has responded by filing an injunction against CWP’s request.