Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has asked NTT Corp to further cut the fees it charges rival service providers to access its fibre-optic networks, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun without citing sources. The MIC is looking to stimulate competition in the FTTx market by reducing monthly access fees, although NTT is said to be opposed to its latest request. In January this year NTT submitted an application to the regulator outlining its proposed new rates for carriers wishing to access its fibre-optic network, which called for a 7.1% reduction in the monthly fee charged in NTT East’s franchise zone, down from the current JPY5,074 (USD49.66) to JPY4,713, and for a 0.5% reduction in the fee levied by NTT West, to JPY5,048. The new fees would cover the period from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2010. Rivals carriers such as KDDI and Softbank Corp have objected to the new proposed rates, however, arguing they differ only marginally from the current ones. In response the MIC is now calling on NTT to make further concessions to its monthly rates to foster competition. The Information and Communications Council, an advisory panel to the ministry, plans to issue a report on the application on 27 March 2008.