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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Telecom regulator to pull plug on 30 firms

Telecom regulator to pull plug on 30 firms

Only four companies out of 34 deemed to be holding “inactive” internet and voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) licences responded by deadline to the national telecom regulator’s request for them to demonstrate that they were actively providing services to customers, a telecom official said yesterday.

Last month, the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) gave 34 companies holding a total of 42 internet service provider (ISP) and VoIP licences until November 30 to submit invoices and other details proving they were commercially active and operating in accordance with their licensing agreements. All but four of the companies ignored the request, according to Im Vutha, director of the TRC’s regulation and dispute unit.

“After the final announcement, just four companies responded to claim that their businesses were active,” he said. “However, we also require them to submit their financial reports and details of their operations.”

He said the TRC requires that ISPs provide financial statements, tax receipts and customer invoices that verify their commercial activity. VoIP providers must also provide logs of international calls made and received.

The four companies that responded to the TRC’s request were World City Co Ltd (Camko City), Fast Speed Co Ltd, Skynet Communication Co Ltd and Telemobile Cambodia Corporation.

Vutha said companies that responded would be required to pay their tax obligations, which amounts to 10 per cent of annual revenue on ISP licences and 2 per cent of annual revenue on VoIP licences.

But the 30 companies that did not respond are not off the hook. According to TRC regulations, by forfeiting their licences they lose their deposits – $10,000 for an ISP licence and $50,000 for a VoIP licence – and may still be held accountable for unpaid taxes.

“Our unit will submit a letter to a TRC committee to make the licence cancellations official,” Vutha said.

When contacted, a representative of Flash Tech Co Ltd, one of the companies the TRC said did not respond to its licensing request, said the firm was not aware of the regulator’s information request. However, the representative confirmed that the company was commercially active and providing internet service to consumers.

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