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Bulgaria Introduces Fixed-Line Number Portability in Month

Date: 19.05.2009

Bulgaria's communications regulator has vowed to make available number portability for fixed-line phones within a month in response to the infringement procedure that the European Commission launched last Thursday.

"All telephone operators in Bulgaria have agreed to sign the procedure to make available number portability to fixed phone subscribers," the head of the watchdog Vesselin Bozhkov said.

Bulgaria's Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) adopted a regulation for fixed number portability at the beginning of the year, but it appealed in court by the Bulgarian Telecommunication Company, which is a monopolist in this segment of the market.

When it joined the European Union in 2007, Bulgaria was allowed to postpone the introduction of number portability until 1 January 2009.

As required by the EU telecoms rules, phone users of all other Member States, and, since April 2008, mobile phone users in Bulgaria, can have their numbers ported to other operators.

If Bulgaria fails to provide an adequate response to Brussels' criticism, the Commission may, if appropriate, go to the next stage of the infringement procedure and issue a reasoned opinion.

As a subsequent step the Commission may refer this case to the European Court of Justice.

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