Reliance Comm protests against BSNL breach of interconnect deal

Reliance Communications has protested against BSNL as the
public sector telecom major breached its interconnect agreement. Reliance
Communications, in protest against BSNL’s breach of interconnect agreement, has
strongly upheld the interests of its customers. 

BSNL disconnected Point of Interconnection (POI) of RCOM on 23rd and 31st May
in Haryana and on 4th May in Punjab. POI facilities are vital to the overall
telecom system in the country and mobile users.  Point of Interconnection
is a system in which a telecom operator provides its network to other telecom
operators for routing its calls.  For this facility a telecom operator
pays a fee to the other operator.

The continuity of POI forms the fundamental basis of interconnect agreements on
access deficit charges (ADC) between the telecom services providers and upholds
the principle of transparency in such deals.

The ADC dispute between RCOM and BSNL is sub-judice before the Hon’ble Supreme
Court.  RCOM has been complying  with TDSAT rulings in this matter.
In April 2011, BSNL raised fresh ADC-related demands for the period February –
November 2004.  The arbitrariness of BSNL is reflected in its entirely
unprecedented demand .  BSNL has also raised additional interest invoices
for the period November 14, 2004 to February 28, 2006 using a methodology that
is totally out of line with the relevant agreements between the two operators.

Disconnecting POI under these circumstances  is an effective breach of the
terms of existing  Interconnect Agreement between any two operators as
well as against the basic ethics of telecom services.

BSNL is following unprofessional practices and using coercive tactics against
other telecom operators to force settlements of legal and financial disputes.
 However, this practice has also affected BSNL’s own 4.18 million
customers as well as the total of 8.14 million customers in the two circles,
according to a press release from Reliance Communications.

RCOM has made a payment of Rs. 533 crore towards full and final settlement
towards Interconnection with BSNL.  In addition to the above, payment of
Rs. 55 crore has also been made under protest. The payment has been made
against the arbitrary threats of POI disconnection at various times for various
circles to protect the interests of the mobile customers across the country.

In pursuing its arbitrary breach  of POI agreements, BSNL has also
completely overlooked  the fact that in doing so it also causes bigger and
huge revenue loss to itself and ultimately to    the exchequer.

RCOM has proposed to BSNL for the final settlement of all pan-India ADC payment
disputes for the period November 14, 2004 to February 28, 2006

By Team
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