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Case details

GibFibre Ltd (trading as GibFibre Speed) (Respondent) v Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (Appellant) (Gibraltar)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0014

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal (Gibraltar)

Case summary

Issue

Does Article 5 of Directive 2002/19/EC (the Access Directive) give the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority the power to require Gibtelecom Ltd to allow GibFibre Ltd access to its data centre?

Facts

Gibtelecom Ltd is a telecommunications company owned by the Government of Gibraltar. It owns and operates a data centre at Mount Pleasant where it hosts third party servers. The Respondent, GibFibre Ltd operates a public electronic communications network in Gibraltar and provides electronic communication services. GibFibre sought to provide electronic communication services to potential customers whose servers were hosted at the data centre. To that end, GibFibre approached Gibtelecom to enter into an agreement to give GibFibre access to the data centre, allowing it to connect directly with the servers of potential customers. However, Gibtelecom refused to negotiate access. GibFibre therefore approached the Appellant, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, as the regulator of the telecommunications industry in Gibraltar for assistance and intervention. While sympathetic to GibFibre’s complaint, the Authority ultimately concluded that it was not within its powers to compel Gibtelecom to grant GibFibre access. GibFibre appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. The Supreme Court upheld the Authority’s decision, finding that the Authority did not have power to order access under the Access Directive. On appeal, the Court of Appeal for Gibraltar allowed GibFibre’s appeal finding that the Authority did have the requisite power under Article 5 of the Directive. The Authority now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Gibraltar Regulatory Authority

Respondent(s)

GibFibre Ltd (trading as GibFibre Speed)

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt

Hearing start date

6 October 2021

Hearing finish date

7 October 2021

Watch hearing
6 Oct 2021 Morning session Afternoon session
7 Oct 2021 Morning session Afternoon session