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Internet Penetration Policy before year-end

A Staff Reporter
Filed on February 21, 2008

ABU DHABI — The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) would announce the Internet Penetration Policy before the end of 2008, a senior official has said.

In a Press statement yesterday, Mohammed Al Ghanim, Board Member and Director-General of TRA, said, “Since du is a new company that has just started to implement the concept of monitoring in the best possible way, it has to comply with the policy within a month from the date it is announced.”

However, a TRA spokesperson clarified, “The policy actually means proxy. It will regulate the web content allowed in the UAE. Since du is new, it has to wait for the policy before it can buy the software to regulate its web content. Etisalat is already following the policy. Both telecom operators have to abide by the TRA regulations.” Meanwhile, the TRA had reviewed 113 price requests from Etisalat in 2007.

“Of the 113 requests, 63.7 per cent were approved and 17.7 per cent rejected because they did not comply with the Price Control Policy and 18.6 per cent were returned to the sender because the applications were not complete,” said Al Ghanim.

“The PCP aims at protecting the consumers’ interests by strengthening permanent competition in the telecom sector, preventing practices that may endanger competition such as cross-subsidisation, long-term contracts with consumers and pricing services less than their actual cost,” said Al Ghanim, explaining that, in such cases, the TRA rejects the pricing requests.

“The PCP also states that the TRA should respond to the pricing requests within 30 working days,” he added.

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