|Business Briefs (August 16, 2012)|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 08:58|
The territory’s telecommunications regulator has officially set the rates that telephone companies can charge each other to connect calls and exchange text messages, officials said. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission hopes the move will discourage the companies from increasing their consumer prices in the short term. After completing a market analysis of the “national call interconnection market” last year, the regulator determined that LIME, CCT Global Communications and Digicel [BVI] are each “dominant” in the market because they alone can set the “termination rates” they charge their competitors when, for example, a CCT customer calls a LIME phone. According to an agency directive Gazetted last Thursday, the three phone companies’ licences to do business in the territory have now been amended to include the new regulated rates. The rates, which are effective as of Aug. 1, are set at five cents per minute to connect calls within mobile networks and one cent per minute to connect calls to and from LIME’s fixed-line network to mobile networks. Previously, the fixed-line termination rate was set at three cents per minute.
Virgin Islands-registered companies now face updated restrictions when doing business with certain people in Iran accused of human rights abuses. According to “The Iran Restrictive Measures Overseas Territories Amendment Order 2012,” which was Gazetted Aug. 2, overseas territories of European Union members including the United Kingdom are prohibited from exporting to Iran “equipment that may be used for internal repression.” The prohibition extends to providing the Iranian government with technical assistance and financing the sale of the equipment, according to the order.