One of the recent example for that is being seen at the Cable backbone. As known by all, Competition Authority had ruled Cable network should be separated. Moreover, cable companies had been waiting for this for 5 years.
According to the information that we gathered, Minimum Price Regulatory determination that is required to issue the licenses had been waited despite Cable License bylaw was published before. It is reported that the prices had been determined by Telecommunications Authority, however are on hold at the Ministry of Transportation without a legitimate reason.
So, we asked to the Ministry of Transportation for the comments, but no information arrived until this article was being published.
However, the private telecom companies do make a lot of explanation on this matter. One of the telecom industry official told us that;
The Cable TV license handout is the order of the Act that was published 5 years ago. This order is executed very late by Telecom Authority and the related bylaw was published last month. So, not only TV broadcasts, but broadband internet and other communication services could be provided over the cable network.
In order for the companies to receive their licenses, the license prices should be approved. Ministry of Transportation ought to do this but is not doing this for a period of time. The job is simple but it is being avoided.
This event is being watched by the citizens who will be able to watch hundreds of digital TV channels. Also the citizens who expect better broadband internet services through competition watch this event.
The citizens who wonder how independent those administrative foundations really are, are watching over this event. As they do, the Europe Union is also watching over this with curiosity and attention.
On the other hand we talked with the Private Telecom Business Association. Telkoder said ;
In order to reach their customers and communicate between their own buildings, Long Distance Telephone Companies, Data Communication via Land Lines Companies, Satellite Telecommunications Companies, the new companies that operate in the field of Internet Service Providing must use Turkish Telecom Cos infrastructure in return of its fee. However, Turkish Telecom Co. Either wants a very high price in return for these demands from new companies or see these demands irrelevant or suits files against those companies for those lines that had been leased in return of their fees.
For this issue to be solved, the Competition Authority had ruled the separation of Cable TV network from Turkish Telecom Co.s body and with a decision made on February 10th 2005, Competition Authority had ruled that other companies should be allowed to benefit from Cable TV network. If this ruling is executed, new companies will be able to use the Cable TV network for leased lines and for reaching their customers. But, because of Turkish Telecom CO.s attitude, this application is also expected to be delayed.
In order to solve this problem that the new businesses face , Telecommunication Authority had published the bylaw required for the issue of the Cable TV licenses on February 5th 2005. But, because the minimum fees for these licenses are not clear, they cannot be issued. Telecommunication Authority had communicated their own offers to the Ministry of Transportation. However, it is clear that this price determination is on hold at the Ministry of Transportation for nearly two months.
We are waiting for the Ministry of Transportation to publish these prices as soon as possible in consistency with the government schedule and emergency action plan.
in Turkey, there are 5 cable companies that are partnering with Turkish Telecom in the basis of income share. These companies are waiting for the issue of the licenses. CEO of Kablo Net Serdar Aktan, which is one of those companies, explained on the subject;
The Cable TV industry in Turkey is different from Europe and many other places. Because, generally as it is the case at Long Distance Telephone Services, after the monopoly of Telecoms in the sector, private companies are formed and are conducted in the business.
However, in Turkeys practice, Cable TV operator companies have been formed many years ago and have been building the infrastructure continuously, and they are able to service to the customer. The required infrastructure, knowledge, educated and experienced employees for the sector had been composed long ago. The network investments and subscriber connections, network maintenance and upgrades had been organized and carried out by Kaider member companies. Turkish Telecom no longer does these jobs it only carries out subscriber registrations and invoice preparations.
So the private companies in the sector are looking forward for these licenses. The issues of these licenses are not only going to open new frontiers for these companies alone, but also will enable the entrance of more companies in the sector and thus competition and investment. The quality services which couldnt be made till now like digital broadcasting, on demand services, internet telephony and other services will be available.
In fact, if these licenses had been issued before which have been delayed without a legitimate or serious technical, legal cause, the Cable TV sector would have been more developed, expanded and would be able to offer different services to the customer by now and they wouldnt lose for them selves.
As it is the case on every subject, also in this sector monopoly had caused inefficiency, expensiveness, and bad usage of resources and this will continue like this until the issue of the licenses. Our companies are ready if the licenses are issued and more efficient service plans are also ready. We, as being Kablonet Co., are watching and waiting and supporting the handout of these licenses. We consider these licenses as the main factor for the development of this sector.
Finally, Topaz Telecom Co. CEO, one of the Cable TV operators, and operators common platform KAIDER Association president Omer Karatas also agrees with the sector officials about the issue of the licenses and sees importance in detailing the below information;
Our member companies, who have been investing heavily for the services that are being offered through Cable TV infrastructure, are expecting the rights that were derived from ownership and the guarantee of investing which is income share to be submitted to them.
The realization of this submission within appropriate administrative and commercial dimensions would compose interest for the new investors and also trigger the investments and positive contributions of existing operator companies to the competition.
This composition at Cable TV networks which look independent and alternative structure brings up a corrective examination right for many foundations and policy makers. This stands as a door open for opportunities after the complications that followed the exciting start in 2004 in Telecom sector. Our wish is the avoidance of the mistakes, and the constitution of a real investor friendly amendment.
Our difference is that we are not getting a license and entering the game field, instead we are demanding the license for the services that we have been providing to our nation over long years. This is a right that our member operator companies had gained and this is an opportunity for the policy makers to comply with their responsibilities.
The realization of this will provide the operator companies the submission of their rights, will bring trust to the market and will be an insurance for the new investor.
Cable companies are still waiting for the realization of delayed jobs. We are going to examine deeper on this matter in the forthcoming days.