Box 7-9: Morocco’s Approach to Interconnection Dispute Resolution [7.4.1]

In 1997, Morocco implemented a sweeping restructuring of its telecommunications sector1. The National Post Office and Telecommunication Agency (ONPT) was split into two separate entities for telecommunications and postal services. Additionally, an independent regulatory body, the National Telecommunication Regulatory Agency (in French, the Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications or ANRT) was established. Under legislation enacted in the late 1990s (Law 24-96 and Decree 2-97-1025), ANRT was given broad responsibility for technical regulation of interconnection terms, including:

  • Approving operator technical and tariff quotations, particularly those offered by Maroc Télécom;
  • Revising interconnection agreements, if considered necessary by ANRT; and
  • Establishing the procedures for submission of interconnection disputes and for settling those disputes if negotiations
  • Between operators have failed and one of the parties has requested ANRT’s intervention.

Several disputes have been referred to ANRT concerning interconnection and abuse of dominant market position. In an early dispute between Médi Télécom and Maroc Télécom regarding interconnection tariffs, ANRT established a procedure that will be followed in later disputes. After an initial consultation which ended without agreement between the parties, the ANRT had a 30 day period to hear the dispute and issue its decision. Within this 30 day period, ANRT:

  • Set up an internal interconnection committee;
  • Consulted with two international experts, as well as its own internal experts – all of whom presented reports that
  • Arrived at the same conclusions; and
  • Submitted a report containing a study of international benchmarks, a financial model and copies of the expert reports to ANRT’s Management Committee.

With certain amendments, the report was approved and published by the Management Committee of the ANRT. Sensitive information pertaining to the dispute was not released. Overall, the decision was regarded as being fair to both parties.

ENDNOTES

1 WB/ITU, Dispute Resolution in the Telecommunications Sector, at.5.

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