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April 2, 2001
eAccess Ltd.

eAccess Submits Comments to Government on NTT's Interconnection Practices

TOKYO, April 2, 2001 - eAccess Limited ('eAccess'), a broadband IP service company based in Tokyo, submitted comments to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT) in regard to two provisions under Article 96 of the Telecommunications Business Law. The comments concern the following two matters.

1. Issues relating to the handling of applications and sales information of interconnecting carriers by NTT East and NTT West
(1)Anti-competitive potential of the '116' line operated by the NTT regional companies
The '116' customer services line operated by NTT East and NTT West also serves as the point of contact when prospective customers applying for ADSL services provided by an ADSL carrier other than NTT East or NTT West wish to check the registered subscriber name of their existing telephone line or to request line conversion from ISDN to analog.
Through this use of the '116' line, the two NTT companies potentially gain an opportunity to persuade callers to sign up instead for the NTT Flet's ADSL service. Furthermore, due to the structural problems inherent in the '116' line, competing carriers run the risk of their sales information being divulged to NTT.
To resolve such issues, eAccess requested that NTT set up another division, effectively separated by a 'firewall' from the '116' division, to serve as the point of contact for customers of other carriers.
(2)Amendment of NTT regional companies' procedures in regard to ADSL service provision by other carriers
Amendment of NTT regional companies' procedures in regard to ADSL service provision by other carriers The procedures of NTT East and NTT West for checking subscriber names and addresses have given rise to a discrepancy in lead time required between the NTT regional companies (Flet's ADSL service) and the ADSL services offered by competing carriers. This has resulted in unfair competition and in inequities in the standard of service provided to customers.

To resolve these issues, eAccess advocates changes to the procedures, such as simplifying NTT's checking process by eliminating the subscriber address check requirement and by having the NTT regional companies confirm the registered subscriber name directly with the customer.

Further, to ensure fair terms of competition, eAccess requests that interconnecting carriers be permitted non-discriminatory access to the operation support systems required for ADSL line provision, including line qualification testing and information such as the registered subscriber names of NTT telephone lines, so that interconnecting carriers are able to implement customer procedures in substantially the same manner as NTT East and NTT West.
2. Correction of negotiation and procedural delays relating to dark fiber interconnection agreements with NTT East
(1)Correction of discriminatory delays relating to acquisition of dark fiber from NTT East
Delays that are apparently deliberate have been experienced in the process of acquiring dark fiber from NTT East.
For a variety of reasons, including late provision or inadequate description of the inter-office transmission routes needed to complete a Point of Interface (POI) Survey Application, or changes to the format of the required documentation, it has taken four months to receive a reply after the original request for negotiations with NTT East.

In addition, eAccess has been asked to submit network equipment survey applications of a form not authorized under the Interconnection Agreement. Furthermore, in regard to the reservation of POIs, terms have been imposed subsequent to application that are more onerous than the provisions in the Interconnection Agreement. Under the Telecommunications Business Law, dark fiber is a 'designated telecommunications facility' (held in significant quantity by an incumbent carrier in a given region). Such practices on the part of NTT East are therefore suspected of being unlawful acts not in accordance with the Interconnection Agreement.

For these reasons, eAccess requested that the interconnection process be carried out in a speedy and transparent manner. This includes the prompt provision of information essential for interconnection, the use of forms and terms in compliance with the Interconnection Agreement, and the timely implementation of MPHPT guidelines. We further request that information such as inter-office fiber-optic transmission routes and the number of available fiber strands be provided as basic information on demand to interconnecting carriers, and that application procedures be made more efficient and expeditious.
(2)Disclosure of particulars relating to dark fiber usage between Tokyo wards deemed impossible to interconnect
Among the 23 wards of metropolitan Tokyo, there are a large number of wards that NTT East deems to be impossible to interconnect, according to survey reports. However, in the course of negotiations with NTT, we have gained the distinct impression that an element of self-interest governs the criteria for deciding whether interconnection is feasible.

For this reason, eAccess requested that NTT East publicly disclose details about the number of unused fiber-optic strands it owns and other such information, and examine whether this dormant fiber capacity is being utilized rationally.
We also request publication of the total number of fibers laid between wards for which interconnection is considered impossible, the number of fibers ^currently in use by NTT East and the number reserved for maintenance purposes or to fulfill future demand, together with evidence to back up these figures, and the number of fibers provided by NTT East to competitors.

For further information regarding these comments, please see the attached(JapaneseOnly)reference material.


eAccess was established in November 1999 as a broadband data communications company, focusing on DSL, Internet Protocol (IP) services and solutions to customers.
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