Internet providers from Dnipro defend the right to network equipment

Actions of local councils/municipalities: Trade rules and permits Dnipropetrovs'k region

Complainee: Dnipro City Council (DCC)
Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from the Telecommunication Chamber of Ukraine – a specialized business association bringing together communication, television, and Internet service providers (Association). The complaint was in the interest of one of the largest national ISPs (the complainant). The Association and the complainant argued about omission of Dnipro City Council.  Thus, in 2019, DCC Executive Committee decided to take an inventory and put abandoned telecommunication equipment in two districts of Dnipro city onto utility companies’ books. The implementation of this decision involved the inventory of approximately 2k of residential buildings.
The Association and the complainant stated that there was a high risk that networks and equipment owned by certain providers could be erroneously assigned to the so-called ownerless property. Under the mentioned circumstances, the Association and the complainant repeatedly requested DCC to provide information on the certain ownerless equipment found during the inventory. The Association wanted to make sure that there was no equipment among ownerless property belonging to Dnipro providers. However, they received numerous refusals to provide such information.
Actions taken: After examining the complainant’s background, the Council agreed with the Association’s and the complainant’s arguments. As part of the investigation, the Council began communicating with DCC management and respective DCC department officials. During correspondence and discussion of the complaint’s circumstances, the Council’s investigator in charge repeatedly stressed the need for the municipal body to adhere to a “good administration” principle. This principle is that a municipality should not only ensure making formally lawful decisions, but make them consistent, predictable and proportionate. Interaction of the municipal body with telecommunication providers should be as transparent as possible. Therefore, guided by this principle, DCC should have arranged the inventory process of possibly ownerless property in such a way as to minimize errors and their negative consequences. Telecommunication service providers operating in the corresponding districts of Dnipro city are entitled to receive such information.
Result achieved: Dnipro City Council accepted the Council’s recommendations and overturned the disputable decision. The complainant thanked the Council for assistance: “We truly thank you for your efforts and professionalism which resulted in support and protection of business interests in government agencies. The Business Ombudsman institution is indeed an effective mediator in communication of business with state institutions, particularly local government authorities. The investigator in charge organized consideration of the case properly and used all possible communications for a dialogue with Dnipro municipality representatives”. The case was successfully closed. Taking the opportunity, it is worth noting the Association’s and the сomplainant’s representatives’ proactive position, as well as the constructive and transparent dialogue of DCC.

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