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Oct 31, 2003

P.U.C. ready to release interconnection regulations

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And speaking of customers, the press could not let this morning’s opportunity of meeting with the P.U.C. slip by without asking about the big event of this afternoon, the launch of INTELCO. The launch of the company’s telecommunication services is being hampered, however, by the lack of a decision about the rate B.T.L. can charge INTELCO customers and INTELCO can charge B.T.L. customers to talk to each other. Under Belize law, the P.U.C. is prohibited from intervening unless both parties failed to come to a mutually acceptable resolution. Gilbert Canton said after several months of unsuccessful discussions the two companies did approach them in May of this year and the P.U.C. began to gather the necessary information to proceed with the exercise, but B.T.L. suddenly filed a court action attempting to stop them and they have been back and forth with the court ever since. Canton says that although another application was filed by B.T.L. just yesterday, the commission continued with its work and they now have the regulations they believe will stand up under the law, and stand up to scrutiny by both companies. But he says determining how much interconnectivity should cost is not as easy as it sounds.

Gilbert Canton

“It is also not only about rates. It’s about all the other technical parts that go along with it. Where is the interconnection going to occur? Who is going to provide the room? Who is going to do what? Who is going to pay for what? …All of these issues. What is the signal input? What services are going to be employed in the interconnection? It is not a simple thing that you can sit down like a lot of people say, “P.U.C. should be making a decision and here it is” and come out with something overnight. We’re not about that. We’re about trying to do a diligent effort to make sure that we come up with something that we can defend, is internationally accepted, we network with all the different regulators that we are in contact with and we find out what is the best way to go about doing this, knowing that we will be in court. Yesterday B.T.L. filed an application again to stop the P.U.C. from intervening in interconnection because they heard that we are about to promulgate regulations and they are trying to stop us from publishing the regulations. This is where we are with it. What I can tell you at this point in time is that we have completed our work, we are in the final stages of clearing up the details and we will publish those regulations. I can’t tell you when because there will be someone right at the registry waiting to say, “Stop them!” But we have completed our work.”

So exactly when the regulations will be presented is still a secret, known only to the P.U.C. News 5 will have more on how INTELCO plans to deal with the interconnectivity vacuum, later in this newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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