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An operator can freely negotiate on access with other operators throughout the European Union. This implies that any operator providing a public electronic communications network has an obligation to negotiate in good faith, with any operator requesting it, on an interconnection agreement for the purpose of providing publicly available electronic communications services.

The BIPT may intervene on its own initiative or at the request of one of the parties, in order to promote and, if necessary, ensure an appropriate access or service interoperability.

Operators experiencing difficulties in their relations with other operators, may appeal to a conciliation procedure or a dispute settlement procedure.

The conciliation procedure entails a consensual aspect, requiring the consent of both parties, while the dispute settlement procedure is binding by nature. 

If the conciliation procedure fails, the dispute settlement procedure can still be appealed to provided that the terms related to that procedure are met.

You can find more information on both procedures below.

Conciliation procedure

This procedure aims to allow operators experiencing difficulties in their relations with other operators to appeal to the Reconciliation Board with a view to facilitating discussions and finding a consensual solution.

The party wishing to appeal to a conciliation procedure has to submit a request to the BIPT by means of a registered letter with confirmation of receipt. In that letter, it clarifies its point of view and adds any proof or document that might be useful in the context of the dispute. It is important to clearly indicate all confidential information submitted in that manner.

The Reconciliation Board formulates a proposal for reconciliation within 1 month of the receipt of the point of view and the proof of the second party.

Both parties are free to accept or refuse that proposal for reconciliation.

You will find more information on this procedure in the Royal Decree of 5 May 2006 regarding a conciliation procedure before the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications.

Questions relating to the reconciliation procedure can be mailed to conciliation.verzoening@bipt.be

Dispute settlement

This procedure aims to allow operators experiencing difficulties in their relations with other operators and whose situation meets certain terms, to ask the BIPT to pass a binding judgement regarding the dispute.

The party wishing to appeal to the dispute settlement procedure has to submit its request:

  • By means of a registered letter with confirmation of receipt;
  • Or by means of a qualified electronic registered delivery service to disputesettlement@bipt.be;
  • Or by taking the request to the BIPT’s reception desk in exchange for a confirmation of receipt.

The BIPT provides the operators with a request form, the use of which is not compulsory, however. 

To be admissible, the request for a dispute settlement needs to meet certain terms.

In principle, the BIPT adopts a binding decision settling the dispute.

For more details on this procedure, we refer to the Royal Decree of 26 January 2018 establishing the dispute settlement procedure mentioned in Article 4 of the Act of 17 January 2003 on the appeals and the settling of lawsuits following the Act of 17 January 2003 on the status of the regulator of the Belgian postal and telecommunications sectors.

Questions relating to the procedure of dispute settlement can be mailed to disputesettlement@bipt.be.

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