Phone Bills

A Bill allowing the Government to claim part of international incoming call revenues was to be endorsed this week allowing the legislature to collect up to 0.038 US cents from telecos’ terminating over seas calls on local networks. A Bill allowing the Government to claim part of international incoming call revenues was to be endorsed this week allowing the legislature to collect up to 0.038 US cents from telecos’ terminating over seas calls on local networks. The monies have been proposed to fund rural infrastructure, with the seven network operators given the right to dip into the kitty if they venture into unconnected or sparsely connected regions.

Network operators will be allowed to claim 66.6 percent of the fund as subsidies for rolling out telecom networks in rural areas.

However, industry sources say some network operators have lobbied the government to keep the two thirds component from the contribution due from them in lieu of networks deployed by them in rural areas since the fund came into effect in March 2003.

Contributions are also due from March 2003, when the telecom watchdog issued over 30 external gateway operators licenses allowing them to terminate international calls locally.

A senior offic