Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter
The application by Digicel seeking a stay of the implementation date of new interim termination rates announced by the Office of Utilities Regulation suffered a setback today.
This, after LIME and the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) filed applications seeking to intervene in the matter.
Justice Ingrid Mangatal has put off the hearing until Monday.
Following the amendments to the Telecommunications Act, the OUR announced that as of July 15, the interim mobile termination rate would be $5 per minute for incoming domestic and international telephone calls.
However, Digicel is contending that due process was not followed and that it was not consulted before the new rate was set.
It is further contending that the move by the OUR to set the interim mobile termination rates is unconstitutional and contrary to the common law right of natural justice.
Digicel wants the Supreme Court to put a hold on the implementation date for the new rate until its application is heard.
Digicel is seeking to have the court review the law which granted the OUR powers to reduce interconnection rates.
In a statement this week, Digicel’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Richard Fraser, was quoted as saying the unfettered powers granted to the regulator are of extreme concern to the company as it effectively makes the OUR judge, jury and executioner.
He further said this cannot go unchallenged as the medium and long term effects of actions like these will be detrimental to the telecoms industry and to the wider Jamaican economy.
Meanwhile, Digicel is also before the courts seeking to challenge an attempt by the FTC to block its takeover of the Claro Network.