Within the framework for promoting Internet access and taking into account the targets set at a European and national level, ICP's intervention has become necessary, namely in defining the Internet access price regime, thus affecting the entire service provision economy.
Thus, upon determination of 21/02/21, ICP's Board of Directors determined the integration of Internet traffic into the interconnection scope, thereby moving from a revenue sharing model based on the fixed telephone service to an interconnection model based on call origination charges. Under the terms of the aforementioned determination, this evolution would go through a transitory period, ending on 31/05/01. However, ISP's may adhere to the call origination model at any moment prior to that date. Furthermore the following were also determined: price levels and conditions regarding billing, ISDN access line - primary rate interface for interconnection between ISP's POP's and the switches of PT Comunicações, S.A. and network restructuring.
Subsequent to the above-mentioned determination, PT Comunicações, S.A. published an Internet Access Reference Offer (IARO).
As a result of the concerns and questions raised by the market, PT Comunicações, S.A. was given clarifications regarding ICP's understanding of (i) the prices applicable to ISDN access lines - primary rate interfaces used to enable remote POPs (determination of 03/05/01), (ii) the applicability of the IARO conditions to Internet access traffic irrespective of the associated means of transmission (determination of 16/05/01) and (iii) the applicable price for the billing service.
One should bear in mind that no interconnection agreements regarding Internet access traffic had been signed between PT Comunicações, S.A. and the interested parties by the end of the deadline for implementing ICP's determination of 21/02/01. Thus, under the terms of paragraph c) of point 1 of article 16 of Decree-Law no. 415/98, of 31 December, ICP determined on 31/05/01 that PT Comunicações, S.A. should conclude the negotiation of agreements within 10 days and send them to ICP up until 10 days after being signed.
a) Taking into account the guiding principles set out in Decree-Law no. 415/98, especially the guarantee regarding users interests, the promotion of the establishment and development of national networks and services and of the access to these and the promotion of a competitive market, as well as the development objectives of the Information Society set out in the e-Europe Initiative, in the Government Programme, in the Main Options of the Plan for 2001 and in the Council of Ministers Resolutions relating to the Information Society;
b) Taking into account that, under the terms of number 1 of article 16 of Decree-Law no. 415/98, and considering the above-mentioned guiding objectives and principles, ICP may, at any given moment and of its own initiative, and must, at the request of any party, intervene in the negotiation of the interconnection agreements, and decide upon the inclusion of certain issues in the interconnection agreement and/or the establishment of specific conditions that must be observed by one or more of the parties involved in the interconnection agreement;
c) Under exceptional circumstances and following a statement of the DGCC (Directorate-General of Trade and Competition), ICP may determine the introduction of alterations to the interconnection agreements signed so as to guarantee effective competition and service interoperability for end users, as foreseen in number 1 of article 17 of Decree-Law no. 415/98;
d) Taking into account that OniTelecom - Infocomunicações, S.A. and Novis Telecom, S.A. requested ICP's intervention in the negotiation of interconnection agreements applicable to Internet access traffic to be signed with PT Comunicações, S.A., under the terms of article 16 of Decree-Law no. 415/98, in order to sign the agreements with PT Comunicações as soon as possible;
e) As PT Comunicações, S.A. sent to ICP four agreements/contracts on 19/06/01, signed within the scope of providing Internet access services - signed between PT Comunicações, S.A., and Global One Comunicações, S.A., between PT Comunicações, S.A., and Unimaster Informática e Telecomunicações, Lda., between PT Comunicações, S.A., and PT Prime - Soluções Empresariais de Telecomunicações e Sistemas, S.A., and between PT Comunicações, S.A., and Telepac II, Comunicações Interactivas, S.A. - and a contract with the minimum requirements for implementing the call origination model (signed between PT Comunicações, S.A., and Sonet Serviços Internet, Lda.);
f) Bearing in mind the need to safeguard the interests of all users, taking into account that there are specific technical conditions which have contributed toward certain entities not meeting the necessary technical conditions for the transition to the new regime on the date set for the end of the transitory period;
The following was decided upon determination of 25th of June 2001:
1. ICP shall intervene in terms of assuring the conclusion and conformity of agreements under the following terms:
a) The agreements to be signed between PT Comunicações, S.A. and the interested parties shall be valid for the current year and must fully respect the determination taken by ICP's Board of Directors on 21/02/01, where the conditions and obligations foreseen in the abovementioned determination, as well as the price levels set out therein must be reviewed next year as is common practice in the other interconnection agreements.
b) The maximum price of 1$60 (excl. VAT) per call, applicable to the billing service to be provided by PT Comunicações, S.A. (in the metered offers and in the calls made outside off-peak period defined for flat rate offers) includes the charging service;
c) Once all the necessary conditions have been met (or one has checked that they were met) for the transition to the new regime, one must apply the conditions and prices defined in ICP's determination of 21/02/01 to the relations between PT Comunicações, S.A. and the interested parties.
2. ICP will carry out a substantiated analysis of the agreements/contracts already signed, so as to verify the need for intervention, under the terms of article 17 of Decree-Law no. 415/98.
3. a) An additional period to the transition period shall be set, without prejudice to those entities interested in carrying out the necessary efforts for defining and implementing conditions ensuring the transition to the new interconnection regime applicable to Internet access traffic. This additional period shall end on 31/10/01, and ISPs may adhere to the new model established in the determination of 21/02/01 at any moment prior to the date now stipulated.
b) Under the terms of article 100 and the following of the Administrative Procedures Code, to hold a hearing with PT Comunicações, S.A., so as to say in writing, within a 10-day period, its understanding in terms of the provisions of the previous paragraph.