Reliance protests BSNL unilateral move on POIs

Reliance Communications, strongly protesting state-owned BSNL's move to pull the plug on interconnections between the networks of both companies in Punjab and Haryana last month, said the move had impacted about 4 million of RCOM customers in the region.

BSNL had disengaged its point of interconnection (PoIs), the junctions at which traffic from one cellular network is passed on to the other, from that of RCOM on three occasions last month, resulting in 8 million customers across both companies being unable to call each other, RCOM said in a statement.

According to RCOM, BSNL could not act unilaterally on the issue as the matter was sub judice.

The issue concerns a fee known as Access Deficit Charge, a levy that private operators were required to pay earlier to compensate BSNL's unviable and subsidised rural operations. The then Reliance Infocomm had been accused by BSNL of diverting calls to avoid the levy payment.

"The ADC dispute between RCOM and BSNL is sub-judice before the Supreme Court. RCOM has been complying with (telecom tribunal) 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," Reliance Communications said in a statement.