EC calls on RRT to impose stricter price controls on fixed line operators

26 Nov 2009

The European Commission (EC) has called on Lithuania’s telecoms regulator, the Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT), to impose tighter price control and access obligations on all telecoms operators regarding fixed termination rates (FTRs). ‘Fixed termination rates in Lithuania are amongst the highest in Europe,’ noted EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding, adding, ‘To facilitate a smooth transition towards fixed termination rates, set at efficient cost levels to the benefit of Lithuanian consumers, more substantial reductions are necessary.’ The EC has said it believes stricter access regulation and price control would ensure a level playing field for all operators to the benefit of competition and consumers. In response, the RRT has proposed to maintain the existing regulatory obligations for incumbent operator TEO LT, such as open access non-discrimination, transparency and accounting separation, but suggested reducing FTRs at peak and off-peak hours at the beginning of each of the coming three years. Meanwhile, rather than fixing termination charges for the country’s alternative fixed network operators, the regulator simply obliges alternative telcos to apply FTRs no higher than those of TEO. The Commission has urged RRT to consider imposing non-discrimination and transparency obligations on alternative providers in order to ensure that the termination services are provided on fair and equal conditions; at present such obligations are only imposed on TEO.