Following PT's request to re-appraise the decision of November 3, 2000 and after analysis of the arguments presented, it has been decided, by decision of December 13, 2000, to maintain the former decision - that calls originated in PT's network and terminated in the networks of other Fixed Telephone Service (FTS) providers should be charged in accordance with the same rules applying to calls originated and terminated in PT's network. Prices of the first type of call may in certain circumstances be corrected on the basis of the differences between the termination charges of the FTS providers involved.
Nonetheless, the technical difficulties associated to location of the number called, as identified by PT, obliges the definition of an exceptional rule whereby, for the purposes of application of the call classification rules in the current FTS pricing system, distances should be measured between the local area where the call is originated and the centre of the group of networks of the geographic numbering zone where the call is terminated.
In this manner, given the stated technical difficulties, this rule was chosen, amongst various possible alternatives, because it is the best means to conciliate applicable pricing principles with the development of competition in the market. This solution also makes it possible to gradually rebalance the FTS pricing system.
Nonetheless, the exceptional prices and rules applied in this specific case may cease to be justified in the event that the technical difficulties preventing identification of the exact location of the number called are resolved (e.g. as a result of the introduction of number portability, the unbundling of the local loop or development of computing solutions that eliminate the said restriction, as has occurred in other countries). The exceptional prices and rules may also cease to be justified in the event that quantified information is presented on the real costs of such calls and on the flows of associated traffic that justify this measure.
ICP still considers that the exceptional rule applied by it in this specific case, and justified by the technical difficulties identified by PT, makes it possible to conciliate the applicable pricing principles with the development of market competition, and will thus result in lower prices for consumers due to the normal operation of the market. For this reason it was decided to maintain the previous decision on calls of the fixed telephone service originated in PT's network and terminated in the networks of other fixed telephone service providers.