Romtelecom request for higher line rental tariffs rejected again

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s telecoms regulator ANRC has again rejected a request by fixed-line carrier Romtelecom, owned by Greece’s OTE, to hike tariffs for line rental by 66 percent, the regulator said yesterday. Romtelecom, which is the country’s main fixed-line operator, has asked the ANRC to approve an increase by some 2 euros for line rental, starting in 2004, as part of its efforts to raise tariffs to reflect cost levels. The ANRC said Romtelecom had to provide information on the exact costs of its services or on the effects of competition on the company to have requests for higher tariffs approved. «The information we got from Romtelecom is not complete and cannot be verified, so the ANRC will not change its previous decision,» the regulator said in a statement. Last month, the ANRC rejected Romtelecom’s request to increase tariffs for line rental, saying it can raise tariffs by a maximum 10 percent, or about 0.30 euros, if it cuts those for long-distance calls by at least 10 percent. But on Wednesday, the ANRC said it had approved tariff increases starting January 23 for landline calls made from Romtelecom’s network to other landline public networks situated in the same county. Romania has 41 counties. It said tariffs for the calls made during peak hours rose by about 96 percent to 4.92 euro cents per minute, while tariffs for other calls increased to 4.53 euro cents per minute from 0.20875. Inter-county calls remained unchanged at 6.68 euro cents per minute for the calls made during peak hours.