The government of Malta has announced that the former incumbent telco GO (previously known as Maltacom, will be paid EUR359,967 (USD270,900) to cover the cost of meeting its universal service obligation (USO) in 2010. The main part of the claim covered the cost of providing social tariffs and free line rental to low-income households or to people with special social needs, the Times of Malta reports. Claims for later years have been submitted by the telco but the government has yet to announce a decision on pay-outs.
Separately, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has presented its final decision on a consultation into the regulation of the market for retail access to the public telephone network provided at a fixed location. The watchdog found that there is sufficient competition in the country’s wireline sector and there are no ‘significant barriers to market entry that could inhibit effective market competition’. Malta is unusual in that it has two competing nationwide infrastructures, operated by GO and its major rival in the fixed and broadband markets, cableco Melita.