As reported in our January 2014 eZine, the maximum Call Handling
Fee (CHF) which the current ECAS operator, BT
Communications Ireland (BT) can charge operators
for managing the ECAS was increased from €2.93 to €3.08,
as from 12 February 2014. According to ComReg, this year's
increase to €3.08 is primarily due to lower than predicted
call volumes. The volume of calls handled is a relevant
factor for determining the reasonable costs of the ECAS operator
and therefore the maximum CHF to be charged. The data
published by ComReg shows the overall trend in decline of calls to
the ECAS during 2013 and as such lends support for the hike in the
CHF. At an annual level, the percentage decline between 2012
and 2013 was -4.2%. A copy of the table showing call volumes
for each month in 2013 is available at page 3 of the relevant Information Notice.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, and given the unusually good weather enjoyed last summer, the only month which showed a positive figure was July 2013 (+1.9% up from July 2012). At the other end of the scale however, one would have expected the winter period (and particularly December) to have shown a similar pattern and resulted in a positive figure. Perhaps we all just stayed indoors!
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