KDD said Sept. 11 it will file a lawsuit in the United States demanding the U.S. Federal Communications Commission withdraw its unilateral price-setting system for so-called international settlement rates.
International settlement rates are fees that telecommunications carriers in one country pay to have their calls completed in another country.
The FCC adopted the new benchmark price-setting system last month to lower charges that U.S. carriers pay to their overseas counterparts.
Under the new measure, which takes effect at the beginning of 1998, the amount that U.S. carriers pay to Japanese carriers will be reduced from the current 44 cents per minute to 15 cents.
The move has sparked fierce criticism from international careers around the world, with many of them expected to follow KDD’s move.
KDD President Tadahi Nishimoto told a news conference that the FCC, as part of the U.S. government, does not have the authority to determine international settlement rates. “According to rules under the International Telecommunication Union, international settlement rates are to be determined between carriers, not by any government,” he said. KDD, which pays more than it receives in overall settlement charges, welcomes further reductions of the rates, Nishimoto said.
However, he said, the U.S. move to determine the amount of money that Japanese carriers receive from U.S. carriers is unacceptable. “If we allow this, I’m afraid that the U.S. government is going to attempt to unilaterally decide everything for the global telecommunication market,” he said. “We must prevent such an event.”