Trai maintains lower cable landing station charges
Telecom regulator Trai on Wednesday decided to retain the existing charges that can be levied by cable landing stations for providing international connectivity through submarine cables. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India capped charges for accessing low capacity STM-1 at Rs 36,000 per annum and Rs 6.25 lakh for high capacity STM-64 per unit capacity at the cable landing station under the International Telecommunication Cable Landing Stations Access Facilitation Charges and Co-location Charges (Amendment) Regulations, 2018.
Submarine cables provide international telecommunication links between countries and these cables terminate in a country through cable landing stations. Access facilitation charges (AFC) are payable by international long distance operators or internet service providers (ISP) to the owner of the cable landing station to access international bandwidth in a submarine cable.
Trai had prescribed same charges in 2012 but the same was quashed by Division Bench of the Madras High Court in July this year on appeal of Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications. The regulator approached the Supreme Court in this regard which on October 8 ordered “…the Authority to re-work the figures on both counts within a period of six weeks from today” and disposed of the petition.