labels: telecom, telecom regulatory authority of india
TRAI proposes domestic leased line tariff reductionnews
Our Corporate Bureau
05 April 2005

Mumbai: In line with its proposed reduction of international private lased line circuits (IPLC) tariffs, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to slash domestic leased line circuit rates and reducing broadband access rates to $1 per 100 MPBS connectivity.

"A report on the proposed reduction of domestic leased line circuits is ready, which will be introduced in a week's time," said Pradip Baijal, chairman, TRAI, speaking to reporters at the `FICCI-Frame 2005' convention here today.

However, Baijal did not disclose the specific reduction in tariffs contained in the report, though he added that a discussion on the white paper for the proposed reduction was complete.

Earlier, on March 11, 2005, TRAI had slashed IPLC rates by 70 per cent and had set a ceiling tariff of Rs13 lakh for E1, Rs104 for DS3 and Rs299 lakh for STM-1 connectivity mode on a half-circuit, per year basis. The reduction was to have come into effect from April 1, 2005.

The move did not find favour with the major internet gateway and service provider, Tata group company, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), which challenged the order in an appeal before the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal

Baijal apprehends that the move would trigger another round of challenges and appeals, this time from the incumbent Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and VSNL as both offer domestic leased line services.

TRAI has also proposed bringing down broadband access charges from $4 per month to around $1 per month, for 100 MBPS connectivity. "A year ago broadband access cost $16 per month in India, while in South Korea it cost around 25 cents. When supply is not a constraint, there is no reason why tariffs should not come down from their current levels."

Baijal also stated that TRAI was working on a uniform licensing regime, whereby broadcasters, telecom service providers, and internet service providers would be brought under a single licensing regime.

On direct-to-home (DTH) services, he said that it was just starting to get a foothold in the country and added DTH should be viewed as a platform and not as a regulator. Baijal also said that a second DTH operator would operate in the country.

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TRAI proposes domestic leased line tariff reduction