Alleged monopoly on underground cable conduits

Alleged monopoly on underground cable conduits

Representatives of communications companies file the complaint about the usage of underground communication conduits with an official of the government's complaint centre, third right, near Government House in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Representatives of communications companies file the complaint about the usage of underground communication conduits with an official of the government's complaint centre, third right, near Government House in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Telecom operators, including AIS and DTAC, on Thursday accused the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) of allowing the other major operator, True, to monopolise underground communication conduits in Bangkok.

Representatives of six telecommunications companies including Advanced Wireless Network, a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS), and DTAC TriNet under Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC), filed the complaint at the government's complaint centre near Government House. The complaint was addressed to the prime minister.

The representatives said the BMA's Krungthep Thanakom (KT) Co invited the companies to lease 2,450 kilometres long of underground communication conduits and only one company filed a request for the lease. While they did not name the firm, they apparently referred to True Corp, whom they fear will have a monopoly over the line.

Bangkok governor Aswin Khwanmuang said on a separate occasion on Thursday that KT had invited 26 communications companies to co-invest in the underground conduit project for about eight months but only one operator applied. The 20-billion-baht project, to be completed in two years, aims to eliminate untidy overhead communication cables in the capital.

KT said that it reserved 80% of the conduit capacity for its partner, which was also the main service user in the project, and 20% was kept for other operators. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission would set the usage fees.

Besides, two state-owned operator — TOT and CAT Telecom — have their own underground conduits and provide the service. Therefore, there was no monopoly, KT said.


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