Flag seeks damage from VSNL, reapproaches tribunal

Accusing VSNL of not honouring the award of the international tribunal between both the companies, Reliance Communications which owns undersea cable Flag Telecom, today reapproached the tribunal against the Tata Group company seeking a time table for damages and "determination of the reasonable and cost-based access charges".

New Delhi, Aug 30: Accusing VSNL of not honouring
the award of the international tribunal between both the
companies, Reliance Communications which owns undersea cable
Flag Telecom, today reapproached the tribunal against the Tata
Group company seeking a time table for damages and
"determination of the reasonable and cost-based access
charges".

"Since the 90 days period permitted by arbitration award
for negotiations, in good faith, for reasonable access charges
at VSNL's Mumbai landing station is over, Flag has approached
the tribunal for setting a time table for determination of
damages due to the unlawful refusal of VSNL to grant access to
Flag from 1998 onwards," Reliance Communications informed the
exchanges.

On May 26, the international court of arbitration of the
international chamber of commerce asked VSNL to allow flag
access to the FEA cable landing station. Flag can also upgrade
the capacity of its FEA system at Mumbai to any level and
lease the upgraded capacity to international telecom entities.

It said in an update to the Bombay Stock Exchange that
the negotiations have failed due to monopolistic and anti
competitive attitude of VSNL.

"The negotiations, as under an award of the international
tribunal, between Flag and VSNL for determination of
reasonable and cost-based access charges at VSNL's Mumbai
landing station have failed due to monopolistic and anti
competitive attitude of VSNL.

VSNL's refusal to negotiate landing station access charges
in good faith, and on basis of costs incurred, has resulted in
failure of negotiations," the update said.

The failure of negotiations would harm the ITES/BPO and
other user industries in India, due to the exorbitantly high
bandwidth prices and landing station access charges maintained
by VSNL, which lead to unrealistically high costs of
international connectivity for Indian enterprises, thus
resulting in higher costs for the end consumers in India, said
the Anil Ambani owned company.

Bureau Report

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