Dispute about geographic call termination reciprocity agreement

19 June 2006

Dispute between: BT and Telewest
Case opened: 17 February 2006
Case closed: 16 June 2006
Issue: BT and Telewest requested that Ofcom resolve a dispute between BT and Telewest over the charges payable by BT for fixed geographic call termination on Telewest's network.
Relevant instrument: Ofcom resolved this dispute under Chapter 3 of part 2 of the Communications Act 2003

On 16 June 2006 Ofcom issued a Determination under Sections 188 and 190 of the Communications Act 2003 resolving this dispute.

Please see below.

Case Leader: Tanya Rofani (020 7783 4342 e-mail: Tanya.Rofani@ofcom.org.uk )
Case Reference: CW/00890/01/06

Text published when the case was opened

Dispute about geographic call termination reciprocity agreement

Dispute between: BT and Telewest
Case opened: 17 February 2006
Relevant instrument: Ofcom intends to resolve the dispute under Chapter 3 of part 2 of the Communications Act 2003

Update note – 19 May 2006

Ofcom published its proposals to resolve this dispute on 19 May 2006. Please see the related item.

Ofcom will be consulting on its proposals until 5pm on 2 June 2006. Please send responses to:

Tanya Rofani
Competition Group
Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London
SE1 9HA

or by email to Tanya.Rofani@ofcom.org.uk

End of update note

Issue:
BT and Telewest have requested that Ofcom resolve a dispute between BT and Telewest over the charges payable by BT for fixed geographic call termination on Telewest's network.

Background:
On 3rd August 2005 BT issued an Operator Charge Change Notice (OCCN) proposing a contractual reciprocity agreement for geographical call termination charges from 1 October 2005 to 30 September 2009. The OCCN also proposes changes to current geographic call termination charges as a result of the agreement and the formula for future charge changes throughout the four-year period of the reciprocity agreement, effective 1 st October 2005. The proposals contained in the OCCN were rejected by Telewest. Subsequent proposals were put forward by Telewest which were rejected by BT.

BT referred a dispute between BT and Telewest to Ofcom on 23 January 2006. On 3 February 2006, Telewest also referred a dispute to Ofcom in connection with the same issues. As the disputed issues arising are the same in respect of each referred dispute, Ofcom considers that they may be addressed within the same dispute.

Scope of the dispute:
Ofcom recognises that on the face of the referral, there appears to be a genuine dispute between the parties that commercial negotiation has failed to resolve.

The scope of the dispute is to determine whether:

  • Telewest's proposal as regards the geographic call termination rate charged to BT, namely:
    • Single switch termination on the Telewest network to be charged at the prevailing BT single tandem rate; and
    • Multi-switch termination on the Telewest network to be charged at the prevailing BT double tandem (short) rate

and;

  • BT's proposals contained within the terms of the OCCN

are fair and reasonable.

Procedural matters:
Guidance on the resolution of the dispute 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' of July 2004.

All representations on the scope of the dispute should be submitted to Ofcom by 28 February 2006 .

Stakeholders interested in the outcome of this dispute should notify Ofcom by 28 February 2006 describing the relevance of the outcome of the dispute to their business. Stakeholders with relevant information and evidence in respect of this dispute should submit this to Ofcom by 14 March 2006. 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 with BT.

Case Leader: Tanya Rofani (020 7783 4342 e-mail: Tanya.Rofani@ofcom.org.uk )
Case Reference: CW/00890/01/06