The obligation to draw up and submit reference interconnection offers (RIOs) for approval by the President of the Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation (URTiP) stems from obligations imposed by the Telecommunications law on significant market power operators (holding more than 25 per cent market share). SMP on the national markets for universal service, leased lines and interconnection is held by Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. The scope and content of RIOs is specified by the Minister’s of Infrastructure ordinance of 31 October 2003 on detailed requirements related to interconnection. TP S.A. shall have the obligation to conclude interconnection agreements with other operators on terms never worse than specified in an endorsed RIO.
TP S.A. has submitted its draft offers on terms of interconnection agreements for three times. In January 2003 the President of the URTiP refused to endorse the first TP S.A. offer on the grounds of its incompatibility with the Telecommunications law, incomplete scope of available services and unequal treatment of operators. In June 2003 also the second trial did not result in the endorsement of the offer by the President of the URTiP since TP S.A. did not withdraw its former complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court regarding the first negative decision of the regulator. The President’s of the URTiP opinion not to endorse both TP S.A. offers was supported by the Telecommunications Council and chambers of commerce which gather telecommunications operators.
At the beginning of January 2004 TP S.A. submitted its third draft RIO taking account of the new provisions of Telecommunications law (in force from October 2003 following the amendment) and terms laid down in the Minister’s of Infrastructure ordinance of 31 October 2003. The new offer covers interconnection services such as call origination, termination and transit in the TP S.A. network as well as calls to directory inquiry services, radio taxi, emergency numbers and 0-20, 0-70, 0-80 numbers. The President of the URTiP invited the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunication (KIGEiT) and the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunication (PIIT) to participate in works on TP S.A. RIO as parties to the proceedings. Representatives of these chambers raised objections to particular provisions of the offer but a compromise has been reached on majority of contentious issues. As a result of these talks and comments made by the URTiP and chambers, TP S.A has submitted amendments and additions to the original draft RIO.
According to the Telecommunications law the President of the URTiP has also made a request to the Telecommunications Council, an advisory body gathering representatives of the government administration, chambers of commerce and scientific circles, to give an opinion on TP S.A. RIO. A special working team appointed by members of the Telecommunications Council dealt with the analysis of submitted documentation and drawing up of a draft opinion in this respect. In a resolution adopted on February 3, 2004 the Telecommunications Council stated that the interconnection offer submitted by TP S.A. may introduce some order regarding the telecommunications market and relations between operators. However, the Council considers that the present TP S.A. offer contains certain elements which have been mentioned in its opinion and which require further clarification, supplement and modification.
Taking account of the hitherto documentation submitted by TP S.A. and the opinions of the Telecommunications Council and chambers of commerce (KIGEiT and PIIT), the President of the URTiP currently does not find legal grounds to reject TP S.A. RIO. The submitted RIO meets conditions mentioned in the Telecommunications law and the ordinance of the Minister of Infrastructure.
The President of the URTiP will now verify all materials, opinions, amendments and supplements to the offer submitted in the course of administrative proceedings. Then the parties to these proceedings (TP S.A. and two chambers of commerce) will be called upon to acquaint themselves with the documentation and express their opinions on it. A final administrative decision of the President of the URTiP will be taken after the parties to the proceedings have expressed their view on the final version of TP S.A. RIO.