News

TSTT TO APPEAL COURT DECISION

TSTT was granted leave to appeal the decision of the High Court delivered today, following the application made by Digicel in October 2006 for injunctions against TSTT. These applications:

  • Sought to compel TSTT to supply additional capacity for all of Digicel’s traffic to TSTT’s network, including incoming international traffic, even though no interconnect agreement was in place
  • Accused TSTT of blocking calls from Digicel’s customers to TSTT’s fixed-line and mobile customers and demanded TSTT remove these impediments
  • Required that TSTT allow its former employee, Leon Akong, into the Nelson Exchange to carry out a wide ranging data collection exercise to determine call failure rates of calls made to TSTT’s network and vice versa, as well as to look at routing of calls and carry out other technical analysis to ascertain whether TSTT has been blocking calls.

 

The court at this preliminary stage expressed doubt that Digicel’s primary argument that its payment to TSTT for interconnect-specific equipment and for leased fiber facilities created an implied contract between itself and TSTT for the provision of interconnection services. The Court agreed with TSTT’s position that in the absence of an agreement between both parties on rates and technical and other terms as required under the Telecommunications Act, Digicel had no unqualified right to interconnection with TSTT.

However the Court determined that having given Digicel interconnection TSTT was under a duty to act fairly toward it and enjoyed the protections set out under the Protection against Unfair Competition Act. As regards alleged call blocking TSTT had determined that call failures and/or low call completion rates have been materially affected by:

1. The decommissioning of TSTT’s TDMA network. 2. The limitations of TSTT’s core network that is being upgraded, which upgrade will facilitate additional traffic to be brought onto TSTT’s network by other concessionaires including Digicel. 3. The unauthorized bringing of international calls onto TSTT’s network through circuits designed only to accommodate domestic interconnect traffic.

“TSTT is disappointed in the decision” said Lisa Agard, TSTT’s Vice President Legal Regulatory and Carrier Services, “as it creates a dangerous precedent for anyone requiring interconnection to bypass the express provisions of the Telecommunications Act and obtain such services at no cost.” It is also grossly disadvantageous for other operators who have signed interconnection Agreements with TSTT and more so in the case of 360 Networks which is sending live traffic to TSTT.

TSTT’s primary concern is to ensure that consumers do not have to pay more for telecommunications services and will remain vigilant to ensure that does not happen. TSTT was granted a stay of execution of part of the Court order as it relates to the supply of additional capacity.