A Supreme Court decision found the communications commissioner did not exceed his authority through his efforts to mediate a dispute between state telecoms Cyta and Primetel, it emerged on Friday.
Nonetheless, his argument that Cyta had not charged Primetel a fair sum was rejected.
The case dates back to 2012 after Cyta clinched a deal with the government to install the emergency telephone lines (SOS) on highways across Cyprus. Cyta then moved to impose colocation fees on Primtel amounting to €72,152 per year, for the cables the latter had installed on the Paphos-Limassol highway.
Primetel refused to pay, saying Cyta had no authority to impose such fees. It submitted an application to the communications commissioner on August 3, 2012 to initiate the procedure to resolve the differences between the two companies.
The commissioner decided that Cyta was allowed to demand colocation fees from Primetel but the amount for 2012 should have been €38,564. He based this on the premise that Cyta had not paid any construction costs for the cables but accepted a fee was required for the cable’s management, operation, maintenance, support costs, as well as the capital cost.
For 2013, the sum should be reconsidered, he noted. On who would be managing the cable, this would be a decision for the courts, he said.
Cyta took the case to court saying the commissioner had exceeded his authority and wrongly calculated the fees. Court ruled in Cyta’s favour but the commissioner appealed the decision.
He argued he had not exceeded his authority, noting the sum of the fee was not the core of the dispute between the two companies but whether Cyta was in fact correct in implementing it.
His second appeal was that the court was wrong to determine that Cyta had borne the brunt of the costs for the emergency lines on the Paphos-Limassol highway – which consequently affected his calculations of how much the fee should have been.
The Supreme Court agreed with his first point but rejected the second.