Hong Kong regulator Ofta has begun a review into interconnection pricing rules for incumbent PCCW.
It has called for comments on regulations that require PCCW to gain approval from the Ofta before changing key interconnection prices.
The rules, attached to PCCW’s license and known as special condition, or SC, 3.4, are the last such ex ante regulations on the operator’s pricing policies.
They have been in place since early 2005, when Ofta moved to a mostly ex post regime, meaning PCCW would only need the regulator’s approval on price changes after they were posted.
Ofta says it kept the ex ante rules on interconnection tariffs because of the possibility of “anti-competitive interconnection charges”.
Since SC 3.4 came into operation, Hong Kong’s regulatory environment has changed substantially, with the introduction of the Unified Carrier Licence and the service-based operators licensing regime, Ofta noted. PCCW’s current fixed-carrier license will expire in June 2010.
In the consultation, Ofta is canvassing the possibility of either removing the condition entirely, or keeping it and removing individual items governed by SC 3.4 on a case by case basis.
Ofta said in a statement that it “has an open mind about the options about the future arrangement for SC 3.4 and would like to invite the industry to come forward with their views.”
Deadline for submissions to the consultation is February 4, 2010.