UK lobbies EU on termination rate plans

The UK government's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and UK communications regulator Ofcom said a current draft proposal on mobile termination rates 'should be adjusted.'

A Dow Jones report further said the commission's proposal on cutting mobile termination rates -the handling fees mobile operators charge each other for passing on calls from competing networks should be amended principally because an assessment has not been made on the differential impact of the proposals on different types of consumers, BERR and Ofcom said in a joint statement.

They also said changes are needed because the commission is recommending 'a major departure from established best practice without adequate justification,' according to the Dow Jones report.

The European Commission says that termination rates are currently too high, damaging competition, and it has outlined plans to cut them by about 70% by 2012.

'The fact that the Commission has recommended a particular approach does not of itself provide sufficient justification for adopting it,' BERR and Ofcom said.

'Unless these deficiencies are addressed, any account taken of the recommendation could be vulnerable to legal challenge.'