LDI Operators Get United Against FCC Order for Suspending Payments

PTCL-logoPakistani Long Distance International (LDI) Industry will continue with the existing International Clearing House Exchange (ICH) arrangements for inbound traffic as per legal and regulatory regime in vogue, said a statement sent to us through email.

FCC in its recent Memorandum Opinion and Order has advised USA based carriers to suspend payment to Pakistani LDIs despite the fact that the interconnected USA Carriers had agreed to current Approved Settlement Rate (ASR) and entered into contract which has binding effects, said the statement.

The LDI operators further said that FCC has no jurisdiction in Pakistan. Licensed telecom operators of Pakistan are bound to follow the directives and policy of the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

Without realizing the fact that FCC’s order is not for Pakistani operators, the LDI operators in the country have said that order passed in any territory outside the geographical boundaries of Pakistan is of no legal and material effect and as such must not be relied upon for doing telecom business with Pakistani licensed operators.

Pakistani LDI operators threatened foreign operators that any business entity not complying with the Pakistan’s existing telecom regime mandating US Cent 8.8 per minute is considered to be in breach of the relevant agreement and will be treated accordingly which will result in blockage of traffic as done by Pakistani Operators in the past.

It maybe recalled that Pakistani LDI operators had agreed to implement ICH on directions of Ministry of Information Technology. This implantation of ICH had caused the rates of international incoming calls to go up by 400 to 800 percent.

CCP had tried to stop the implementation if ICH but MoITT had maintained that competition commission of Pakistan can not intervene a government body.

Later on, after the implementation, Brain Telecom had filed a petition in Lahore High Court by saying that ICH is not competitive and it violates many CCP rules. Currently case is with CCP again on directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan after which CCP issued a show cause notice to PTCL and other LDI operators for explaining the implementation of ICH.