Fri | Dec 15, 2017

OUR delays termination rate cuts pending court judgment

Published:Sunday | October 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) continues to delay implementation of fixed-line termination rate cuts, pending the court's decision on Cable & Wireless Jamaica's application for an injunction.

The company, which trades as Flow Jamaica, pleaded its case on October 5, but the court won't deliver its decision until the end of the month.

The OUR had initially delayed implementation of the rate cuts - which were to be done on a glide path from October 1 to April 1 of next year - until the October 5 hearing. It now says, it will continue to delay implementation until judgment is handed down on October 31.

The decision will determine whether to grant Flow an injunction, pending a judicial review of the glide path determined by the OUR for the rate cuts.

Flow objects to the six-month glide path and has been fighting with the OUR to extend the period to at least two years.

The OUR disclosed in a telecoms industry notification that Flow wants a judicial review of its rate decision and sought an interim injunction restraining its implementation, pending the outcome of its application to the court for the review.

The OUR had initially determined that termination charges for phone calls that connect to fixed-line phones are to be reduced by 70 to 90 per cent, which would lead to cheaper phone calls for subscribers, starting on July 1, this year. However, that was pushed back on objections from Flow Jamaica, which began pushing for a glide path of two to three years and which sought a stay on the initial price adjustment.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com