CUTS International, a non government organisation, welcomed on Monday telecom regulator Trai’s decision to exempt private telecom operators from paying a fee called ADC to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited by April 1.
“This move, apart from benefiting consumers, will help in creating a level playing field for service operators,” CUTS International Secretary General Pradeep S Mehta said.
The telecom regulator on March 27, announced its decision to phase out the Access Deficit Charge, which was paid by private telecom service providers to compensate BSNL for offering services in rural areas at subsidised rates.
All major telecom players, Bharti Airtel [Get Quote], Tata Teleservices [Get Quote] and Vodafone Essar had also welcomed the move.
CUTS also suggested to make it mandatory for all operators to ensure 100 per cent coverage of the license area, including remote areas.
“Since, a license is issued for the whole circle/zone, it is justified to ask the telecom operators to ensure full coverage,” CUTS said.
When the networks of all operators could be available in remote areas, it provides a choice to consumers to select a service provider. At the same time, operators would also find it profitable to increase their subscriber base in rural areas, Mehta added.
The ADC has two parts. The first is 0.75 per cent of adjusted gross revenue that service providers pay to BSNL and the second, rupee 1 per minute on international incoming calls paid to the PSU by international long distance service providers.
Besides, it has also announced the reduction of ADC on international calls to 50 paise from rupee 1 at present.