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Published on December 7th, 2006 | by Babar Bhatti


Battle Goes on: PTCL vs PTA

This is a followup to my previous posts about bandwidth rate cuts. In the latest development Lahore High Court has granted PTCL stay against the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s decision to reduce bandwidth prices after the Etisalat-run company challenged the determination for the second time.

The NEWS article summarizes the issues nicely so I will present some excerpts directly below. This is a disappointment for those who wanted the prices to come down to an affordable level. I think PTCL has panicked due to its sliding market share and profits and has decided to use whatever means necessary to keep its tariffs high. No wonder Pakistan scored low on the digital opportunity index. It is the combination of lack of infrastrucure, monopoly at work and weak policies.

Read full news item here and also see the statement by PTA chairman about PTCL’s poor performance.

Compared to its previous decision, the PTA’s revised determination was quite mild, introducing a mere 6% reduction in the price of 2 Mbits and 20% reduction in higher data rates, yet PTCL’s new management from Etisalat decided to challenge this decision.

The Internet, IT and call center spheres of the telecommunication industry, who expected a letter-and-spirit implementation of the verdict, are voicing disappointment over the PTCL move to oppose the determination.

Call centers and business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry find bandwidth cost reduction imperative for making Pakistan an attractive global destination for such business.

This is turning out to be a real test for PTA’s authority. Lets hope the end decision works in favor of the public.

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