Court Call

July 9, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator has proposed slashing home rentals by 24 percent and call charges by over 8 percent, in a consumer interest case against the island’s largest fixed access provider, a court official said. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has suggested in court Monday that monthly domestic subscriptions of Sri Lanka Telecom be reduced to 350 from 465 rupees and business rentals be reduced to 950 from 1200 rupees.

Call charges are proposed to be reduced by 8.72 percent.

TRC was asked to submit a proposal by the Supreme Court after a lower court decision in favour of Consumer Association Lanka, a lobby group, was appealed.

Court had ordered the parties to come back on August 27 with a plan to implement the proposal with effect from January 2007.

Chief Justice Sarath Silva had said the Sri Lanka Telecom could set off the amounts collected during the past six months against future bills, instead of returning cash to subscribers, court officials said.

A formal court order is expected to be made at that date.

Under a light handed regulatory regime, only SLT tariffs are regulated, while other fixed access players price around the main operator.