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Belize operators ordered to share

18 Feb 2010

Following the failure of Belize Telemedia (BTL) and smaller rival SpeedNet (Smart) to reach agreement on interconnection and infrastructure sharing fees, telecoms regulator the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued two orders last Friday, declaring firstly that the companies must share infrastructure, and secondly that the rates must be cost-based, local news site Amandala Online reported. The Belize Telecommunications General Order (Interconnection, Infrastructure Sharing, International Access) No. 1 of 2010 and the Belize Telecommunications Interconnection and Infrastructure Sharing Regulations Order 2010, include a framework for the costing of services, which must be based on true cost of provision without subsidies, whilst rates cannot be set without the PUC’s approval. Additionally, the watchdog ruled that the ARCOS-1 international submarine cable landing station must be shared by all telecoms service licensees. There is a 28-day window for the orders to be amended before final versions are enacted.

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