NTT’s two regional carriers on Wednesday reapplied for approval to launch a modified version of their L-mode Internet service.

Under the plan, revised from the original submitted in February, a third-party telecom company would operate the interprefectural service and set its end-user charges, as recommended by an advisory panel under the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry in a March 16 report.

The original plan was revised to adhere to the NTT Law, which prohibits the two firms from operating telecom services that cross prefectural borders.

If the ministry approves the plan, NTT East and NTT West will launch the service in June. The two firms had initially planned to start the new service this month.

L-mode is a simplified Internet-browsing and e-mail service for fixed-line phones that does not require a personal computer.

Under the revised plan, the service menus of rival telecom companies will appear on L-mode equipment screens.

NTT East and NTT West would offer to collect revenue for the content providers whose menus appear on the equipment, according to the revised plan.

Under the revised plan, users would first connect to NTT’s L-mode access point in their prefecture.

A third-party long-distance company would then connect the call to NTT’s gateway machines in Tokyo or Osaka, which would then transfer the data to content providers offering various text-based services. The panel advised NTT East and NTT West to separate charges for interprefectural business from prefectural-level services by allowing the involvement of third-party telecom companies.

Under the revised plan, L-mode charges from NTT East or NTT West have been reduced from 210 yen to 180 yen.

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