Netia files for return of domestic long distance license fee
WARSAW, Poland - April 18, 2001 - Netia Holdings SA (Nasdaq: NTIA, WSE: NET), Poland's largest alternative provider of fixed-line telephony services, today announced that it has filed with the Telecommunications Regulatory Office ("URT") for the return of EUR 24 million paid to date in respect to its domestic long distance (DLD) license, due to the expiry of the license with the introduction of the new Polish Telecommunications Act.
As defined by the new telecoms law that came into force on January 1, 2001, Netia's DLD license effectively expired and became a permit, and its semi-exclusivity period was shortened from its original 15 years to 7 months. Netia's claim for repayment is based on delays in the issuance of the license as well as the lack of timely decisions and actions related to the interconnection issues necessary to start operations, which have removed the justification of the license fees already paid. In addition, Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. has not signed the interconnection agreement, despite the fact that the agreement was finalized and initialed by the parties on February 19, 2001. Therefore, Netia anticipates that it will have to postpone the launch of the DLD service by another quarter. The combined delays have reduced the value of the license, among other reasons, due to the loss of revenues over the delay period and given that as of January 1, 2002 only a permit issued at administrative cost will be required.
Netia has filed a motion to confirm terms of its domestic long distance telecommunications permit with the President of the Telecommunications Regulatory Office, who is obliged to set the terms of the respective permits following the expiry of the licenses.