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14th October 2020, 20:38

Gibtelecom 'in correspondence with GRA in respect of content provided by competitors'

Gibtelecom says it is in correspondence with the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority in respect of content provided by competitor u-mee and other providers through bundled services.

A complaint by U-mee, against Gibtelecom is also being looked into by the GRA.

Gibtelecom CEO Noel Burrows says the government-owned telecoms company is also speaking to international content providers in respect of these bundled services.

These latest exchanges have been brought to a head by Gibtelecom’s launch - two weeks ago - of a new 1 Gigabitsymmetric fibre broadband, which Gibtelecom claimed positioned it as the fastest broadband provider on the Rock. The company also unveiled its GigaGib plan, a commitment to roll this out to everyone in Gibraltar by 2022.

U-mee has now said it has started rolling out its own one gigabit symmetric broadband fibre service.

The complaint to the GRA by U-mee is in relation to statements made by Gibtelecom; the ‘bone of contention’ reportedly concerns the different technology used by both networks to deliver their respective broadband services.

Gibtelecom says it has now lodged a complaint with the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority against U-mee and GibFibreunder the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Act 2001.

Tensions have been bubbling for many months among Gibraltar’s telecoms companies. After the introduction of a 'fully licensed' entertainment product in 2018, U-mee and Gibsat announced a loss of channels in Gibraltar in March last year, claiming broadcasters and content owners had been encouraged to pursue the closing-down of various popular channels in Gibraltar from providers including U-mee and Gibsat.

Commercial disputes have also been taken to the law courts. Gibtelecom, their rival GibFibre Speed and the GRA have each argued their different positions to the Supreme Court numerous times in recent months.