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PCCW Demands Closure Of VoIP Provider

by Mary Swire, for LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

08 October 2004


Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced this week that it will not be bowing to incumbent telecommunications provider PCCW's demands that it shut down the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operation of City Telecom.

Speaking to the AFX news service, an unnamed OFTA official explained that:

"PCCW's demand is unilateral and not set by any court in Hong Kong and we are therefore under no legal obligation to comply with what they are asking." He went on to add, however, that the telecoms regulator will reply "in due course" to the complaint.

PCCW has threatened to sue OFTA if the Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) is not closed down, arguing that its parent firm, City Telecom, is in violation of its fixed-line telecom license, which contains a requirement that firms must invest in the development of their networks or lease capacity from competitors.

According to AFX, the larger firm has also taken exception to the fact that City Telecom is not paying a fee for the use of PCCW's network, given that HKBN users connect using PCCW's Netvigator service.

However, HKBN (with OFTA's support) has countered that no fee should be paid because Netvigator customers have already paid for their broadband connection.


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