Friday, March 28, 2008

BSNL to Trai: Renew access deficit costs

Mobile and internet consumers can kiss lower telecom tariffs goodbye if Trai gives in to BSNL’s renewed demand for a Rs 8,774 crore annual payout by way of access deficit charges (ADC). Despite a commitment by Trai to move to a zero-ADC regime by year-end, BSNL said at a Trai Open House on Tuesday that it continues to need a subsidy just to sustain the operations of its rural fixed network. Trai’s records show that consumers have already contributed Rs 12,774 crore to BSNL, which is the sole beneficiary of ADC payments. Trai has committed in each of its consultation papers that ADC is a depleting regime, to be phased out on or before 2008. The reason for this is that ADC increases costs for BSNL’s competitors and their subscribers. It also adversely impacts prices for global customers calling India.

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