Ghana Telecom has won a significant concession from the Government which this week accepted its proposal on interconnect rates.

The decision was reached at a meeting between the Ministry of Communication, and the company’s management and the board of directors on the matter, which had generated a lot of public outcry following recent announcements on new rates.

K Ofosu-Adarkwa, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry said though government recognizes the current interconnectivity rates as rather lopsided to the disadvantage of the company, it also recognizes the need for fairness and cost based interconnect call rates. This, it said, the Ministry believed would enhance competition among the telecom operators under moderation of the National Communications Authority, the regulatory body to agree on fair and reasonable rates in line with normal industry practice and took into account public interest.

"The Ministry concedes that the existing interconnectivity rates are rather lopsided and work to the disadvantage of GT and in the process, GT is experiencing severe congestion in its fixed lines," the statement said.

It said until negotiations and consultations were conclusively completed with the NCA, the Ministry found it prudent that GT should not pre-empt the outcome by issuing press advertisement on any new rates.

What is more puzzling is the process the decision has been arrived at. The Government has effectively undercut the independence of the regulator by pre-announcing its decision which can only lead to the suspicion that it is the Government that will make all the significant decisions.