CICRA (the Channel Island Competition Regulatory Authorities) has proposed an RPI price increase for fixed line telecoms services provided by JT in Jersey and Sure in Guernsey for 2014.
The retail price controls for fixed line telecommunications largely cover exchange line rental (XLR) and call costs. The current price controls expire on 31 December this year and the regulator has been in discussions with the operators on their proposed increases for next year.
Sure requested an increase of just over 2% in its retail prices for calls by moving to ‘per second’ billing and discontinuing an old discount scheme. It did not propose any changes to its existing XLR rate of £9.99 per month.
JT sought a 17% increase in XLR which would equate to an additional £2.20 per month on the current £12.75but no change to fixed line call charges. Including GST, standard monthly XLR charges would have increased to £15.66 for consumers.
CICRA has instead proposed a Guernsey RPI price increase of 2.7% for Sure and a Jersey RPI price increase of 1.2% for JT.
Consultation on the proposal will take place over the next four weeks finishing on 17 January. Depending on the responses, CICRA’s decision will be finalised by the end of January.
CICRA chief executive, Andrew Riseley, said “Given the size of the XLR increase sought by JT, we have decided to propose a ‘placeholder’ RPI rise and will conduct a full review commencing in the second quarter of 2014,” he said.
“Clearly there are competing views over JT’s regulated accounts and the costs of each area of its business, including the costs of its PrimeTalk tariffs. Considered debate is needed which is part of the reason for conducting a review.
“With the start of retail landline competition perhaps only 12 months away, the prospect of competition would presumably exercise a degree of constraint on the operators’ pricing. However, given the uncertainty around the timing of the introduction of competition, we believe a review would give clarity and establish more clearly JT’s position.”
Interested parties can find further details on CICRA’s website at www.cicra.gg.
Category: Finance & Business