The telecom tribunal TDSAT in its directive on Friday asked the state owned telecom operator BSNL to restore services to private operators.
The row over inter-connecting charges between BSNL and these operators have led to the former disconnecting services to many private telcos like Bharti, Tatas and Reliance Communications (RCom).
Passing an interim order over the petitions of Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and The tribunal also directed the PSU to restore the Points of Interconnection (PoIs) of the private telecom operators, wherever they have disconnected.
Moreover, the tribunal said that till the next date of hearing, operators would continue to pay at the old IUC rates. The matter would now come up for hearing on November 1. BSNL has disconnected PoI of RCom, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and TTSL in Punjab circle.
BSNL is claiming outstanding dues of Rs 165 crore for interconnect usage charges (IUC) from the private operators. It has already issued notice to players asking them to pay about Rs 165.62 crore for IUC. IUC is paid by one operator to the other for using its network to complete calls and send SMSes.
BSNL is claiming IUC at the rate of 65 paise per minute for such calls from all the private operators. However, the operators are insisting on paying 15 paise per minute.
The private operators are contending that TRAI''s Interconnect Usage Charges (Regulation 2009) mandates a private operator to pay 15 paisa per minute as carriage charges for a call to the BSNL's fixed line network within the state/circle.