Sep 29, 2016
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Ooredoo in duct dispute with Qatar regulator

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Qatar operator Ooredoo is in dispute with the
country’s regulator over access to ducts by a
carrier-neutral wholesale broadband company.
The dispute follows a report from Communications Regulatory
Authority (CRA) saying that Ooredoo – formerly Qtel,
and 52% owned directly by the government – was engaged
in uncompetitive practices because it was denying duct access
to the carrier-neutral Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN)
and Vodafone Qatar.
Ooredoo has responded to the CRA’s claims by
saying that the report has "gave errors", added that
allegations its policy damages Qatar’s economy are
"superficial".
The CRA said on 8 September that Ooredoo, the former incumbent
operator, was denying duct access to QNBN and Vodafone. The
Qatar government set up QNBN in 2011 with a 25-year licence to
build a nationwide fibre network, to which all carriers would
have access. But the CRA also wanted Ooredoo to let QNBN as
well as Vodafone use Ooredoo’s ducts.
The CRA said in its report: "Ooredoo’s blunt
refusal to allow other operators access to its duct network
does not only impede QNBN directly, but it also substantially
lessens competition."
Ooredoo has now replied: "We are a responsible organisation
that abides by the rules. However, for the good of the people,
the industry and Qatar’s vision for growth, it is
essential for all parties to do the same."
It also complained: "Ooredoo reiterates its belief that there
is a conflict of interest in the CRA adjudicating commercial
agreements relating to QNBN, which is affiliated to and
ultimately operated by the CRA."

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