The telecommunications ministry will order NTT West Corp. to resume talks with the Softbank Corp. group over a Softbank demand to allow its engineers to do wiring work at NTT West’s phone stations to improve its high-speed Internet access service, ministry officials said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry asked the telecom dispute settlement panel, one of its advisory councils, to study the appropriateness of ordering NTT West to grant Softbank’s demand, the officials said.

Over the past two years, Softbank has been demanding that its engineers be allowed to do wiring work at NTT West’s switching stations, to which the phone lines of all NTT West users are linked, if users apply for the Softbank group’s asymmetrical digital subscriber line service.

The group, operator of the Yahoo BB ADSL service, has argued that authorization would enable it to shorten the time necessary for such work, thereby allowing it to cut wiring work-related commissions it has to levy on subscribers.

But NTT West, one of the two regional phone carriers of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., has adamantly refused to comply.

NTT West, itself a major provider of ADSL services, said responsibility in the event of a telephone network connection disruption would be obscured if such a demand is met.

But the telecom ministry appears to be leaning toward approving the Softbank demand as it found NTT West’s case weak after looking into the matter, industry sources said.

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