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TDSAT asks BSNL not to charge a higher carriage cost of Re 0.65 per minute

January 17, 2012
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The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) not to charge a higher carriage cost of Re 0.65 a minute until the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) frames new rules or the Supreme Court passes an order pertaining to this matter.

Dismissing BSNL’s bills, TDSAT said, "The impugned demand of the respondent (BSNL) cannot be sustained. They are set aside accordingly." However, the tribunal added, "This order shall be subject to any other or further order which may be passed by the Supreme Court of India or any regulation that may be made by the telecom regulator."

TDSAT’s direction followed the petitions filed by Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL), Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam TeleServices on this issue.

The operators had requested TDSAT to restrain BSNL from recovering any amount exceeding Re 0.15 per minute as inter-circle transit charges, until TRAI frames the new regulations pertaining to Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC).

BSNL had claimed that the operators owed it money and thus issued disconnections notices to the operators on July 21, 2011.

The incumbent had based these claims on TRAI’s 2006 IUC Regulations, claiming carriage charges of Re 0.65 per minute.

The tribunal observed, "The tariff of Re 0.65 per minute per call was subject to a ceiling and was not a fixed sum. It required negotiations between the parties."

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