Airtel-Vodafone has criticised the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority’s (GCRA) decision on leased line prices.
Leased lines provide high-capacity connectivity to telecom masts and the Channel Islands have historically high prices in this market.
“This price review exercise has finally happened after many years and was a great opportunity to address the extortionate price imbalances that exist in the leased line market when compared to other jurisdictions such as Jersey and the UK,” said Head of Technology at Airtel-Vodafone, Avdhesh Chauhan.
“Even after the price reduction, prices in Guernsey are still up to 84% higher than Jersey and up to 760% higher than the UK. Prices in Jersey are also expected to reduce further following the conclusion of an ongoing regulatory review.”
Pictured: Airtel welcomed the review of leased line prices but is unhappy with the outcome.
The GCRA conducted a wholesale price control consultation to bring these costs down and this work has now seen Sure agree to drop its leased line prices.
“Thanks to investments we are making in fibre connectivity and our superior network we have reduced the prices of some of our business services,” said the Chief Exectuive of Sure, Justin Bellinger.
“As the world becomes increasingly digital we realise that these are critical to the business community, and therefore to Guernsey’s current and future economic success.”
According to the GCRA, the cost of on-island leased telecommunication services could now drop by as much as 44 – 52%.
Pictured: Leased lines provide high-speed data for mobile network users.
The Chief Executive of the GCRA, Michael Byrne, said: “These price reductions will have a direct cut-through to the cost of doing business in Guernsey and is an excellent outcome for the sector. I want to commend Sure for the approach it has taken, and I am sure its customers will appreciate the significant reductions it has committed to and how swiftly it intends to implement them.”
Despite this, Mr Chauhan from Airtel said it’s “too little too late”.
“The outcome of this price review exercise does nothing to ease the cost of business connectivity. The GCRA’s final decision is a huge disabler to competition in the island and is a massive set back to invest in newer technology such as 5G which is contingent on reasonably priced leased line connectivity.”
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