ICH threatens to block calls over FCC recommendation

14 Mar 2013

ProPakistani writes that the nation’s international long-distance (LDI) operators have announced that there will be no change in international termination fees and providers that fail to pay the determined amount will have traffic to Pakistan blocked. The announcement was issued in response to a recent determination from US regulatory body the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that a recent price hike in termination fees for calls to Pakistan was anti-competitive. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, Pakistan’s LDI operators set the higher rates after creating a single international gateway, the International Clearing House (ICH), which is able to keep prices artificially high by eliminating competition. The FCC has requested that US telcos pay the pre-ICH termination fee of USD0.02 rather than the inflated USD0.088 price. In their announcement, the LDI providers stressed that Pakistan’s telcos are subject to the policies and directives of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Islamabad government, reiterating that the FCC has no authority in Pakistan.