Modifications to the statutory operating licences for JT Jersey and Sure Jersey have now been issued by the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA), following its investigation into potentially ‘anticompetitive’ behaviour by the two operators.
In a press release regarding the matter, the JCRA noted that JT and Sure had previously entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would have enabled them to share a new 5G network which the regulator feared could have operated to the detriment of other operators and, ultimately, consumers. As a result of the watchdog’s investigation, JT and Sure terminated the MoU and committed to assist the JCRA to develop new licence and compliance conditions to prevent that happening in future. These conditions are now implemented in the modified licences and impose clear obligations on JT and Sure to ensure that any use of shared assets or networks is ‘fully compatible with healthy competition, benefiting consumers through lower prices and faster rollout of new technology’. With the modified licences having come into effect yesterday (4 August), the new conditions include: a requirement to notify the JCRA in advance of entering into any agreement with another operator to share network assets; an express requirement to comply with Jersey competition law when sharing such network assets; and a proportionate compliance regime.
Commenting, the JCRA’s chief executive Tim Ringsdore said: ‘We are determined that any requirements for network sharing, or any type of competitive sharing, such as to enable the rolling out of 5G, are developed in a fair manner that lets all operators compete fairly, safeguarding the interests of consumers and promoting economic growth and sustainability … We have a duty to ensure that Competition Law is adhered to, and I would urge all businesses, regardless of their industry, to familiarise themselves with the Law and be clear about their responsibilities.’
Meanwhile, the JCRA has said it will now undertake a consultation process to implement similar licence conditions for all ‘relevant’ telecoms operators in Jersey and will publish guidelines on fair network sharing ‘later this year’.