HKBN presses on with case against PCCW

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 November, 2004, 12:00am

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) says it will continue with its attempt to sue PCCW for allegedly blocking its voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service, even though PCCW has said it is likely to drop an injunction against the service in a separate case scheduled for next week.

HKBN chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay told the South China Morning Post that his company would not back down. He claims PCCW deliberately blocked HKBN's VoIP service for 16 hours soon after its public launch in August.

In September, HKBN submitted evidence to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta), which allegedly shows that PCCW caused the service outage, violating the Telecommunication Ordinance.

'We are pushing for status reports from Ofta and will continue to build a case against PCCW. There is no backing down for us,' said Mr Wong. 'We are not interested in striking an under-table deal with PCCW ... there is no return of favour in this.'

An Ofta spokeswoman yesterday said that it was still investigating the case.

Meanwhile, PCCW has been reported as being ready to retract its injunction against HKBN's VoIP service ahead of next Wednesday's judicial review hearing in the High Court.

A PCCW spokesman said the company would make a decision by Tuesday.

'PCCW wants to be on good terms with HKBN,' said a source close to the company. 'They don't think HKBN's VoIP service would threaten them too much anyway.'

PCCW applied for the judicial review into the Telecommunications Authority's decision to allow HKBN to operate its VoIP service on its broadband network without an interconnection fee. It argues that the authority's decision is unlawful, as VoIP is out of the scope of its fixed telecommunications network services licence conditions.