TDSAT stays implementation of reduction in port charges
New Delhi: The telecom tribunal has stayed the implementation of sectoral regulator TRAI's new regulation reducing port charges following a petition filed by state-run BSNL.
A TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha has directed TRAI not to implement its new regulation till October 8, the next date of hearing. It was of view that once it is implemented, the entire structure of the port charges would have to be changed for port seekers and port providers.
"Keeping in view the fact that by reason of the impugned regulation, the appellant (BSNL) would have to change the entire system as regards levy of the ports charges keeping in view the requirement of seekers of the port, we are of the opinion the impugned regulation may not be given effect to till the next date is fixed," said TDSAT in its interim order.
Moreover, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal also issued notices to TRAI asking it to file a short reply within three days. BSNL also got three days time for rejoinder over TRAI's reply.
On September 18, 2012 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had reduced the port charges by specifying new ceiling rates. It had fixed Rs 10,000 a year port charges for fixed line telephone calls and at Rs 4000 for mobile services.
At present, operators pay an annual flat slab of over Rs 39,000 to each other.
Two telecom operators get interconnected in each other's network through port. For that they have to pay port charges which are paid by the connection seeking operator for smooth transfer of calls made by his subscribers on other telecom networks.
For example, if a mobile user of a particular company calls on another mobile network, then the networking company of the former has to interconnect with the latter for which port charges are paid on an annual basis. It is also added in the call charges and any reduction would benefit the customers.
BSNL would have to bear maximum impact of any reduction of the port charges.