PCCW's hopes for an early end to its dominant fixed-line carrier status appear to have been dashed, with the telecommunications regulator saying it will deal with the issue after it decides whether to retain the mandatory Type II Interconnection policy. The Office of the Telecommunications Authority refused to give a deadline for its decision on the policy, which requires PCCW to lease its last-mile network to rivals at cost. 'It's very difficult to say due to the complexity of the issue. It depends on what response we receive to the consultation,' said Edward Whitehorn, the head of the authority's competition affairs branch. 'What I can say is as soon as possible.' Ofta is planning to launch a second round of consultations on the interconnection issue soon. Mr Whitehorn said because the decision would have a huge impact on rival networks' coverage and the industry's competition landscape, it was better to bear that in mind when deciding whether to declare PCCW a non-dominant carrier in the residential and business fixed-line business. The regulator rejected PCCW's claim that it was unfairly restricted in competing with rivals on price, saying that the dominant carrier had the flexibility to lower prices if it wanted to.