Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has been found guilty of breaching the terms of its licence by withholding high speed data connectivity from a competitor, as well as offering a service to its retail customers at below-cost pricing. The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has given the telco 30 days to rectify the issue or face penalties.
A report from Points Chauds says that local ISP Inq.Digital complained to the regulator that BTC was charging ‘predatory and excessive’ wholesale prices for its ADSL product and also refused to provide rivals with access to the faster VDSL technology, even though it was offering VDSL to its own retail customers.
BTCL executives said the decision to not provide wholesale VDSL to ISPs was a business strategy taken as part of a move to phase out the group’s wholesale business. BOCRA found, however, that the operator was still taking on new wholesale clients. BTC admitted that one of its enterprise customers was being offered ADSL connections at below-cost price in an effort to retain that customer’s business. BOCRA found that BTC’s justification of the situation was untenable and amounted to a breach of its licence.