Staff Reporter Islamabad
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has passed an order directing the management of DHA-I Islamabad to restore a level playing field by giving ‘Right of Way (ROW)’ to Nayatel to provide its Cable Internet and Telephony Services (CIT Services) on the same terms and condition as are being offered to other existing operators.
The CCP conducted an enquiry after taking a suo motu notice of the complaints and concerns received from the residents of DHA-I Islamabad, stating that had been deprived of an alternate choice of CIT services provider, which was restricted to only two operators, i.e. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and DHAI Teleman.
They alleged that DHA was not letting Nayatel to operate in the area despite the company’s interest to provide its services.
The Right of Way (ROW) is a platform for internet service providers for the provision of CIT services.
According to complaints, DHA management had given ROW to PTCL and DHAI Teleman in DHA-1 while denying the same to Nayatel on equal terms and conditions.
It was alleged that DHA’s management had created a barrier to entry for Nayatel by offering dissimilar conditions and demanding a higher price of ROW than the already existing internet service providers.
The CCP’s enquiry concluded that DHA management, prima facie, abused its position in violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2010 by not allowing Nayatel to operate in the relevant market and recommended to initiate proceedings against DHA under Section 30 of the Act.
After hearing the parties, the bench passed the order, in which it applied the ‘essential facility doctrine’ to the matter and observed that in the current era, the CIT services are an essential need for the citizens, both for personal as well as commercial use.