between Orange and BT - CSI Links connection and rental charges
Complaint against: BT
Case opened: 29 August 2003
Relevant instrument: The Director intends to resolve
the dispute under Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Communications
Act 2003 as from 25 July 2003. In resolving this dispute, to
the extent the Director decides to consider the matter retrospectively
and in relation to any period before 25 July 2003, he intends
to do so under regulation 6 of the Telecommunications (Interconnection)
Regulations 1997, by virtue of paragraph 22 of Schedule 18 of
the Communications Act 2003. This dispute was referred to the
Director on 21 July 2003.
Orange and BT are in dispute regarding the implementation of
cost sharing arrangements in respect of the connection and rental
charges associated with customer sited interconnect (CSI) links.
In a determination dated 15 October 1999 (but effective 1 April
1998) Oftel stated that connection charges for CSI interconnect
links should be shared between BT and Orange and the exact methodology
for apportionment of these charges was to be negotiated by BT
on-going commercial negotiations dating from October 2002 between
BT and Orange, this issue has not been resolved. Bilateral negotiations
have failed and Orange has referred this matter to Oftel in
order that a resolution be found to:
value of the rebate due to Orange in respect of connection charges
already paid by Orange since 1 April 1998; and
(2) the methodology for the apportionment of connection charges
Determination did not directly address the issue of CSI link
rental charges. However, BT has argued that CSI link connection
charges cannot be considered in isolation and must be considered
in parallel with CSI link rental charges. This view has formed
part of BT's position in the negotiations with Orange in this
that it issued a review notice on the CSI product which resulted
in an Network Charge Change Notice (NCCN) in August 2000, addressing
both connection and rental cost sharing. This NCCN was issued
in parallel to another NCCN that addressed issues with Number
Translation Services (NTS) traffic. A number of operators objected
to both NCCNs and BT referred the dispute to Oftel. Much of
the discussion centred on NTS culminating in a determination
of June 2001 which dealt with the NTS issue and did not explicitly
address the CSI issues, maintaining the industry status quo
methodology for the apportionment of CSI link connection and,
to the extent that this also involves re-consideration of the
current method of apportioning CSI link rental charges, CSI
link rental charges, for all types of traffic carried over CSI
links, without determining the level of the charges. The Director
will consider whether or not any decision should be applied
The resolution of the dispute is subject to the procedures set
out in the joint statement by Oftel and the Radiocommunications
Agency "Dispute resolution under the new EU Directives"
of 28 February 2003.
on the scope of the dispute should be submitted to Oftel by
5 September 2003.
interested in the outcome of this dispute should notify Oftel
by 5 September 2003 describing the relevance of the outcome
of the dispute to their business.
with relevant information and evidence in respect of this dispute
should submit this to Oftel by 19 September 2003.
Note - 20 November 2003
On 19 November
2003 Oftel issued a draft Determination under Section 190 of
the Communications Act 2003 and draft Direction under Regulation
6(6) of the Telecommunications (Interconnection) Regulations
1997. Comments on this consultation should be sent to the Oftel
contact shown in the document by Thursday 4 December 2003.
to access the draft Determination and draft Direction
note - 25 September 2003
avoidance of doubt, Oftel's investigation into this dispute
will also consider the possible impact that any changes to the
current method of apportioning rental and connection charges
for CSI links will have on the process set out in BT's Standard
Interconnect Agreement of refunding a proportion of the rental
charges already paid in the event a CSI circuit is ceased.
Tanya Rofani (020 7634 8938 e-mail:Tanya.Rofani@oftel.gov.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00663/07/03