Dispute between TelNG and Gamma about certain interconnection charges

04 November 2010

Dispute between: TelNG Ltd (TelNG) and Gamma Telecom Ltd (Gamma)
Case opened: 6 September 2010
Case closed: 2 November 2010
Issue: TelNG has asked Ofcom to resolve a dispute under section 185(1) of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act) between TelNG and Gamma concerning a number of charges for interconnection and porting levied by Gamma on TelNG.
Relevant instrument: Ofcom intends to resolve this dispute using its powers under Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Act.

This dispute has now been settled between the parties and accordingly, the case has been closed.

Text published when case was opened

TelNG has disputed certain charges levied by Gamma under its Carrier Services Agreement with TelNG, which Gamma sought to increase from 28 July 2008. This issue was first referred to Ofcom as a dispute in December 2008, however the parties agreed to undertake further negotiations and the dispute was withdrawn. Having failed to find a resolution the issue was again referred to Ofcom by TelNG in March 2009. In April 2009 we wrote to the parties stating that we believed that in accordance with section 186(3) of the Act the dispute was suitable for referral to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This dispute has now been referred back to Ofcom as the parties have failed to agree on the terms under which ADR should take place.

Ofcom recognises that on the face of the referral it appears that the dispute meets the relevant statutory criteria and it is appropriate for Ofcom to handle it according to section 186 of the Act. Ofcom has therefore accepted this dispute for resolution.

In resolving disputes Ofcom must act in accordance with the six Community requirements that give effect to Article 8 of the Framework Directive. In summary, those requirements are:

  • to promote competition in communications markets;
  • to secure that Ofcom contributes to development of the European internal market;
  • to promote the interests of all European Union citizens;
  • to act in a manner which, so far as practicable, is technology-neutral;
  • to encourage, to the extent Ofcom considers it appropriate, the provision of network access and service interoperability; and
  • to encourage such compliance with certain international standards as is necessary for facilitating service interoperability and securing freedom of choice for the customers of communications providers.

Scope of the dispute:

The scope of the dispute is to determine:

Whether the changes to charges levied by Gamma on TelNG from 28 July 2008 for:

a) calls delivered by Gamma Telecom to geographic numbers sub-allocated from Gamma to TelNG;

b) the charge per channel for TelNGs interconnect with Gamma;

c) the charge per number for number ports or migrations; and

d) the charge per number per month for numbers sub-allocated from Gamma to TelNG

were:

1. fair and reasonable as between the parties; and

2. where applicable, consistent with obligations under the General Conditions of Entitlement.

Procedural matters:

Guidance on the resolution of disputes can be found in Ofcom's Guidelines for the handling of competition complaints, and complaints and disputes about breaches of conditions imposed under the EU Directives.

All representations on the scope of the dispute should be submitted to Ofcom by 21 September 2010.

Stakeholders interested in the outcome of this dispute should notify Ofcom by 21 September 2010, describing the relevance of the outcome of this dispute to their business. Stakeholders with relevant information and evidence in respect of this dispute should submit this to Ofcom by 5 October 2010.

Stakeholders who wish Ofcom to join them as parties to the dispute must provide evidence, as set out in Ofcom's Guidelines, that they are in dispute.

Case Leader: Lawrence Knight (e-mail: Lawrence.knight@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/01057/09/10