End users of all publicly available electronic communications networks will have access to public services provided through access codes 1600 - 1639, and alternative operators, already connected or going to connect to MOLDTELECOM network will no longer have to pay access deficit charge. These clauses are included in the Administrative Board Decision issued by the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) on Regulating Access to Public Electronic Communications services provided through access codes 1600-1639. The decision was subject to public consultation procedure, was approved by the working group for regulating entrepreneurial activity and became effective today, April 14, having been published in the Official Gazette.
The access codes 1600-1639 are assigned by the Agency for providers of IP-telephony services. In 2001, pursuant to a Government Decree, the Agency adopted a decision on regulating IP-telephony services approving the access deficit charge. In the timeframe 2001 - 2004 rate for a minute of international telephone calls via IP telephony ranged between 2.48 and 0.50 lei. Since 2005 a 0.39 lei rate has been applied. By paying this rate, IP telephony service operators, connected to MOLDTELECOM network, contributed to the subsidization of deficit of revenue necessary to cover maintenance costs of the company’s local infrastructure, a deficiency caused by applying prices below cost for fixed local telephony.
Having analyzed the situation on the market, the Agency found that the access to services provided by access codes 1600-1639 was limited and restricted, and the access deficit charge had become a competitive barrier for new providers. They are unable to compete with the incumbent because of disproportional regulation, which fact makes them leave the market. Considering this situation and the tendency of decreasing international calls tariffs applied to end users, which fact directly influence the amount of access deficit charge, the Agency decided to remove that charge and establish new rules for interconnection of services provided through access codes 1600-1639, for the ultimate benefit of end users.
The Decision of the Agency requires that providers of public electronic communications networks, at the request of another provider, conclude an interconnection agreement or modify the previously-signed agreement to enable the provision of services through access codes 1600-1639 to end users. The agreement will stipulate the obligation of the former provider to ensure the access of his own users, except users of roaming services, to the access codes of the latter provider, in compliance with the given Decision.
The decision lays down the interconnected providers’ obligations in terms of transportation and transfer of calls to access codes 1600-1639, usage of signaling systems, methods of charging and payment for calls. The Agency requires that the interconnected providers apply due modifications to the previously-signed interconnection agreements within 30 days from the effective date of the decision mentioned above.
April 14, 2010