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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003

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TRAI kicks off IUC review

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THE review process of the interconnection usage charge (IUC) regime was kicked off on Tuesday with a meeting between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the industry representatives.

However, the private operators were left disappointed when they were told that the whole process would be wrapped up in as short a time frame as possible, without adequate open-house discussions.

According to industry sources, the Authority gave an indication at the meeting that the access deficit charges (ADC) would continue to be incorporated in the revised IUC regime, as that was the only way to take care of the interests of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

It was also made clear that the open house discussions that have been the norm of previous consultation processes would be limited to only two or three at the most.

The meeting that was called today was to discuss the background paper for these consultations which was issued by May 15.

The whole process is expected to consider the sustainability of any IUC regime in providing the necessary revenues to recover the access deficit.

That apart, the TRAI is also going to examine in the consultation process, the issue of how many tariff plans should be allowed for each service provider, as well as the desirability of withdrawing forbearance that is currently given to the tariffs for cellular mobile and limited mobility (WLL) services.

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