Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) continues to defy orders from the country’s telecoms regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), related to the signing of interconnect agreements, local journal The News reports. According to the report, the PTA issued an order on 10 June 2009 calling for both PTCL and private ISPs to sign a new DSL Interconnect Agreement within seven days. Almost three months later, on 2 September 2009, and following complaints from private operators that the incumbent had still yet to sign the agreement, the watchdog issued a two-day deadline, threatening PTCL with legal proceedings.
The country’s old DSL Interconnect regulations were amended by the PTA in light of what many viewed as anti-competitive clauses that the agreement contained. The ISP Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) has continued to criticise the regulator’s handling of the matter, and in an e-mail to PTA chairman Mohammad Yaseen, said that the PTCL was continuing to operate by using ‘unfair and anti-competitive practices [in] selling DSL retail packages much below the wholesale rate for ISPs.’