Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
(TRAI) yesterday announced a cut in the access deficit
charge (ADC). ADC is a charge on telephone operators
for subsidising rural telephony. The new ADC rates
come into effect from February 1, 2005.
As per the new rates, the ADC on inter-circle calls
has been slashed by 62.5 per cent to 30 paise for
domestic long-distance calls beyond 200 km. The ADC
for inter-circle calls for distances between 50 km
and 200 km has been reduced by 40 per cent to 30 paise
from 50 paise.
For international long distance calls, the charges
have been reduced by 41.18 per cent on outgoing calls
and 23.53 per cent on incoming calls. From the existing
flat rate of Rs 4.25, the new deficit charges are
Rs2.50 for outgoing and Rs3.25 for incoming.
There has been no change in the ADC for local and
inter-circle calls between two points, which are up
to 50 km apart. Rates of local calls, whether cell-to-cell,
cell-to-fixed line or fixed line-to-cell, are unlikely
to undergo any change as the ADC charges for them
has also said that fixed line operators like Bharti,
Reliance and Tatas (other than BSNL) would retain
ADC only on their outgoing calls. ADC on all other
calls will be provided to BSNL, it added.
chairman Pradip Baijal said the reduction would not
affect BSNL's operations and the simplified regime
would help increase telecom penetration and density.
"The total ADC amount earned by BSNL will remain
unchanged at Rs5,000 crore. As there has been an exceptionally
large increase in call minutes. TRAI has been able
to decrease the per minute ADC and ensure that the
total amount collected remains the same," Baijal
A K Sinha chairman and managing director BSNL said
the cut was based on assumption of increase in traffic.
ADC is paid by private cellular operators to compensate
BSNL for providing rural telephony.
Tele-Ventures's chairman, Sunil Mittal has announced
that Airtel will pass on the benefit of the entire
cut on the ADC to customers from February 1. "We
believe it is a good beginning, but
there is a long way to go. Consumers should expect
the 100 per cent reduction in their hands from February
1, "Mittal said on the sidelines of a conference
in the capital.