On 16 May 2008, ICP-ANACOM approved the conditions of the Reference Interconnection Offer (Proposta de Referência para Interligação) to apply in 2008 (RIO2008), including amendments made to the maximum prices of PT Comunicações, S.A. (PTC), to apply from 12 March 2008, with respect to the following services:
i) call origination and termination;
ii) capacity-based interconnection;
iii) billing, collection and non-collection risk;
iv) activation of portability;
v) activation of pre-selection.
RIO 2008 also established the maximum interconnection price applicable to calls originating from the public payphones of PTC and determined that the penalty established in the flat interconnection tariff, corresponding to twice the price of time-based interconnection, to apply to the transfer of traffic, will apply only to overflow traffic.
This determination also gave rise to the obligation of PTC to identify in advance, in terms of indication and for billing purposes, the CLI category associated with calls originating from payphones (calling party's category = payphone).
Decree-Law no 57/2008 of 26 March
With the publication of Decree-Law no 57/2008 of 26 March, which establishes the legal regime applicable to the unfair commercial practices of companies in their dealings with consumers, its application to electronic communications was questioned, specifically in respect of the rule set out in the point q) of art. 8, according to which the practice of ''rounding up price, duration or other factors, directly or indirectly, connected to the supply of goods or to the provision of services where this does not have exact and direct correspondence in the effective expenditure or use by the consumer and which leads to an increase in the price paid by the consumer" is prohibited as an unfair commercial practice, being considered "a misleading action under any circumstance''.
In this context, on 2 May 2008, ICP-ANACOM made its view on the matter public, stating on this occasion that the provision is not contained within Directive no 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which Decree-Law no 57/2008 was designed to transpose, not having relation to any of the actions set forth in the exhaustive list set out in this Directive.
In its stated position, ICP-ANACOM affirmed that it does not make sense to consider that there are calls, that is communications, which last 1 second. This Authority considered that there is a minimum period - which does not correspond to obligatory minimum consumption and much less an activation fee -, which constitutes what can be called a "voice product". Accordingly it makes sense, in order to comply with the rule in question, that billing should be per second, that is to say without rounding up of the call duration being imposed obligatorily on the consumer. This shall be the meaning of the rule - that is, that operators have available, for the choice of consumers, and as such, in alternative to other models, a tariff of this nature - with a single initial period followed by billing per second, constituting a logic of ''opt-in''.
Wholesale naked digital subscriber line offer (Naked DSL)
Naked DSL is a form of wholesale offer that enables the provision of an ADSL service to the end-user, without the operator holding the local loop requiring the end-user to engage (or maintain) a fixed telephone service.
In February 2008, ICP-ANACOM adopted a set of recommendations on this wholesale offer, regarding, among other issues, the activation of the service, the need for synchronization between this offer and the portability of the number and the reduction of installation time.
Despite a shift from the period initially recommended by ICP-ANACOM, the provision of this modality by PTC was made possible, with the specifications required by this Authority. As a result this offer was completely available during the first fortnight of March 2008.
Law no 12/2008 of 26 February
On 21 May 2008, ICP-ANACOM approved a document which examines and evaluates the impact on electronic communications of the amendments made by Law no 12/2008 of 26 February to the Essential Public Services Law (Law no 23/96 of 26 July). This assessment is justified because the scope of the Act was expanded to cover all electronic services, now considered essential public services.
Public consultation on the regulatory approach to Next Generation Access Networks (NGA)
On 18 June 2008, ICP-ANACOM approved a public consultation document on the regulatory approach to NGA. The goal of the consultation was to launch discussion and gather contributions from interested parties, in order to identify possible adaptations in the regulation of wholesale products in the light of the expected developments in access networks, and to develop a suitable regulatory approach which is transparent and consistent. It was further intended to collect updated information on possible plans for evolution to NGA, allowing ANACOM to better quantify the impact on the market and enabling informed and timely action.
Aware that the current and foreseeable developments in NGA raise several issues related to the regulated offer and aware of the impact that these offers will have on the markets, it will be possible for ANACOM to implement a regulatory approach to NGA that is coherent and consistent with the objectives of regulation enshrined in law, including, the promotion of competition and encouraging the development of diversified and quality innovative services, thereby ensuring that the interests of users are upheld.
Assessing the forms of implementation of obligations maintained on Grupo PT in the scope of market 12 (supply of wholesale broadband access)
Following the public consultation on the matter, ICP-ANACOM decided on 26 June 2008, given its position on the ''spin-off'' of TV CABO PORTUGAL, S.A. (ZON TV Cabo), published on 3 April 2008, as well as the results of conducted analysis, and without prejudice to the conclusions that will result from the market analyses, in particular, analyses of markets 4 and 5 of the European Commission Recommendation on relevant markets, to review ways of implementing the obligations maintained on Grupo PT in the scope of market 12.
In this decision, the prior notice (of 10 days before entry into force) was replaced by notice ex-post (5 days after the entry into force) of the conditions to be provided at retail level.
By the same decision the costs for 2008 were updated in consideration of the ''retail-minus'' rule.
Access of the beneficiaries of the RCAO - Reference Conduit Access Offer (Oferta de Referência de Acesso a Condutas) to PTC's database on conduits
Under the obligation to provide access to the conduits, poles and facilities which is binding upon the concessionaire of the public telecommunications service (PTC), on 6 August 2008 ICP-ANACOM adopted the final decision on the maximum annual prices applicable to the service of access to the database on Conduits of PTC. These maximum annual prices were set, by district, according to 4 different scales.
Furthermore PTC was ordered to maintain the two schemes providing information on conduits and associated infrastructure until 31 October 2008 (through access to the Extranet and using forms with plans available in PDF format by email under the current terms), after which period access will be provided exclusively through the RCAO Extranet.
Price of television signal distribution and broadcasting service practiced by PTC
In implementing the measures determined following the analysis of the wholesale market for broadcasting services for the delivery of content transmitted to final users, on 10 September 2008 ICP-ANACOM ordered PTC to reduce the price of each service incorporated in the television signal distribution and broadcasting service, by a minimum of 23 percent, to ensure that the price system service respects the principle of cost orientation. These new prices entered into force on 1 September 2008.
Publication of performance levels in the quality of service of the wholesale offers
By determination of 15 October 2008, approval was given to the draft decision on the publication of performance levels with respect to the Quality of service (QoS) of the wholesale offers - RUO (Reference Offer for Local Loop Unbundling), LLRO (Leased lines reference offer), RCAO (Reference Conduit Access Offer), Rede ADSL PT and SLRO (subscriber line resale offer). This draft decision was submitted to a prior hearing of interested parties lasting 30 working days.
Amendment of the guidelines on the minimum content of contracts governing the subscription to electronic communications services
On 11 December 2008, ICP-ANACOM gave approval to the amendments to the Guidelines on minimum content to be included in contracts governing the provision of electronic communications services, consequent to the legislation applicable to essential public services (Law no 12/2008 of 26 February, which amended Law no 23/96 of 26 July), and which requires all providers of electronic communications services to adapt the subscription contract models to the new system and to send subscribers notification in writing with information about the contractual changes resulting from said Law, as well as the amendments relating to so-called "loyalty periods".
Approval of ICP-ANACOM's position on the prices of call origination on national mobile networks
By determination of 6 August 2008, ICP-ANACOM gave approval to its position on the prices of call origination on national mobile networks pursuant to which the operators holding rights to frequencies for the provision of the publicly available mobile telephone service lowered the wholesale prices for the origination of calls on the respective mobile networks to levels nearing, or preferably in line with, the maximum levels established for the termination of voice calls on individual mobile networks. This reduction had to be implemented by 30 September 2008.
These operators were also invited to propose reductions in the prices for the service of billing and collection on behalf of other operators, preferably to levels no more than 20 percent higher than those in RIO 2008.
It was also communicated to these operators that, if significant changes did not occur, it was the intention of this Authority to address this issue in the analysis of the relevant market and/or submit it for consideration by Autoridade da Concorrência (Competition Authority).
Capacity-based interconnection offer
By determination of May 16, 2008, ICP-ANACOM approved the conditions to apply in the RIO 2008 regarding the capacity-based interconnection offer. Reductions were made to the prices in force and it was stated that the data provided by PTC in response to the draft decision on the RIO 2008, as well as the proposal it presented to effect a sharp increase in the prices associated with this type of interconnection, needed to be presented in more detail. As such, ICP-ANACOM did not consider it appropriate to depart, at that moment, from the established theoretical model.
Under the conditions described, in December 2008 a draft decision on the capacity-based interconnection offer was submitted to the prior hearing of interested parties, whereby the conclusion was reached that it was appropriate to maintain the application of the theoretical model, while amending certain parameters and increasing the ''penalising'' factor of traffic transfer.
Law no 12/2008 of 26 February
On 21 May 2008, ICP-ANACOM adopted a document in which an analysis was made of the impact on postal services by the amendments made to the Essential Public Services Law (Law No 23/96 of 26 July) by Law no 12/2008 of 26 February.
This assessment was justified because the scope of the Act was expanded to cover all postal services, which are now considered essential public services.
Draft decision on the statistical indicators to be sent on a quarterly basis by providers of Postal Services
On 4 December 2008, ICP-ANACOM adopted a draft decision on the statistical indicators to be sent on a quarterly basis by the providers of postal services and the submission of this draft decision to the prior hearing of interested parties in accordance with Articles 100 and 101 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, whereby a period of twenty-five working days was allowed for the submission of written comments.