BTC ordered to amend pricing or face penalties

BTC ordered to fix pricing or face penalties

Botswana’s regulator has found operator BTC (Botswana Telecommunications Corporation) guilty of violating its licence terms by preventing a competitor from accessing high-speed data connectivity.

TeleGeography reports that the operator was also found to have priced retail services below their cost of provision. The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has informed BTC that it will be penalised unless the situation is resolved in 30 days.

Local outlet Points Chauds reported that ISP Inq.Digital alerted BOCRA that BTC was demanding “predatory and excessive” wholesale fees for its ADSL service, and that it was preventing ISPs from accessing its faster VDSL technology altogether despite offering VDSL to its retail customers.

BTC claimed that its refusal to provide ISPs with wholesale VDSL was a deliberate step taken on its path towards winding down its wholesale business. BOCRA countered with the observation that BTC is still attracting new wholesale clients.

With regard to its below-cost pricing, BTC conceded that it was providing its ADSL service to an enterprise client at this rate in order to retain them as a customer; BOCRA however ruled this action to be an unjustifiable breach of BTC’s licence.

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