On July 24, 1998 Telecom Italia published its new Interconnection Offer, as requested by the Decree of the Ministry for Communications issued on June 10, 1998.
The former version of the offer, dated July 1997, had been judged unsatisfactory under antitrust principles, as adversely affecting competition. The offer appeared in particular not comprehensive of call termination in areas where new operators were not connected to the local transit stations switches. In particular, to ensure national interconnection, new operators had to be connected with all general switches of the territory, which practically eliminated from the market any small or regional-sized operators.
The new offer issued by Telecom Italia indicates interconnection tariffs for network interconnection for the provision of voice services and the use of ISDN services, directory and emergency calls, Calling line Identification, Freephone and other premium services.
All in all, the newly published tariffs do not appear to be in line with the values contained in the Recommendation of the European Commission of January 8, 1998 on interconnection pricing.
The recommendations of the UE called for peak rate charges:
Between 0,6 and 1,0 Eurocents per minute for call termination at the local level;
Between 0,9 and 1,8 Eurocents per minute for "single transit" -i.e. call termination at metropolitan level;
Between 1,5 and 2,6 Eurocents per minute for "double transit" -i.e. call termination at national level - more than 200 Km.
The tariffs of Telecom Italia appear to be slightly superior to the indicated parameters, which however are not to be regarded as mandatory.
The Authority for Communications has already stated that it will organize a public tender in order to choose an advisor, charged with the task of evaluating and monitoring the economic aspects of the offer. Furthermore, the Autority may use for this aim data provided by KPMG, which is auditing Telecom Italia' books in order to precisely determine the costs connected with each service. This system of cost disclosure has been devised in order to separate general costs borne by Telecom Italia for the provision of interconnection services from other costs arising from the provision of different services.
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