The European Commission (EC) has said that it has ‘serious doubts’ regarding a revised proposal from Latvian telecoms regulator the Public Utilities Commission (Sabiedrisko Pakalpojumu Regulesanas Komisija, or SPRK) related to fixed line termination rates. According to a press release issued by the EC on the matter, it has claimed that the SPRK’s proposals would ‘negatively affect consumers in Latvia’, noting that the watchdog has put forward what it terms ‘very high’ fixed termination rates of EUR0.29 (USD0.35) per call and EUR0.26 per minute from 1 April 2013. Comparing these proposed rates to those in other European Union member states, the EC says that the proposals are ‘not in line with the Commission’s 2009 Termination Rates Recommendation under the EU telecoms rules’. Further, the European watchdog noted: ‘The methodology applied by [the] SPRK on fixed termination rates does not ensure that these rates are set on the basis of the costs of an efficient operator and therefore they result in rates which are too high by EU standards.’
It has been confirmed that the SPRK has been sent a letter advising it that its proposals do not comply with the principles and objectives of EU telecoms rules, and the EC has noted that over the next three months, and under the new powers of Article 7a of the Framework Directive, it will discuss with the SPRK how to amend the latter’s proposal in order to make it compliant with EU law; such discussions will take place in close cooperation with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).
Commenting on the development, EC Vice President Neelie Kroes said: ‘I am determined to ensure that the regulated termination rates including the fixed ones are brought down to costs of efficient operator in all Member States without any unnecessary delay.’