07 June 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Bezeq Israel Telecom has been notified by the Ministry of Communications that as of 1 August 2018 it is required to make its telephony infrastructure available for leasing.
The news comes following on from the Bit Stream Access +
Telephony service portfolio (BSA) and Bezeq is required to
provide such service both separately and as an add-on service
to the BSA.
In section 126.96.36.199 of the BSA published in 2017, based on
the decision made by the current acting Minister of
Communications, where it stated that Bezeq was required to
supply telephony service in resale format for a year from July
2017. At the time the Ministry of Communications said that it
was going to review possibly extending the resale arrangement
or possibly make it permanent.
The company has told the Ministry that in order to make this
new mandated wholesale service possible, a switch needs to be
replaced as part of very protracted process, in order to make
this technologically feasible. As such Bezeq has indicated that
it will be unable to meet the schedule provided by the Ministry
but it is working with them to find a solution.
Bezeq says that the implementation of the service portfolio
will negatively affect the company’s financial
results, though at this stage it can’t be sure of
the extent of the impact. At the time of the statement from
Bezeq (6 June) the company’s shares were trading
almost 4% lower than usual.
Israel is implementing a wide scale wholesale market reform
in an attempt to drive down consumer prices and increase
competition. At present Bezeq is one of two companies providing
telecom infrastructure but is still the country’s
most dominant player.
The reform outlines were originally laid out in 2014, but
rollout of the reform slowed as Bezeq said the wholesale reform
in its original version was technologically impossible to
implement, leading to the current resale version we have
Bezeq Israel Telecom,
Ministry of Communications,