TRAI interconnect new rule: Fine upto Rs 1 lakh per day for violation

TRAI

If you are a Reliance Jio customer you must have faced trouble calling Airtel, Idea and Vodafone connections. And, it happens often because aforementioned telecom companies allegedly were not providing Jio with sufficient PoIs (Point of Interconnection) that were required to connect calls between different networks.

To curb call failing, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has released a detailed set of regulations for interconnection pacts between operators and mandated a daily penalty of Rs 1 lakh per circle for non-compliance of the laid guidelines, reports Financial Express.

The Telecom Interconnection Regulations, 2018 will come into effect from February 1. The regulation mentions, “Every service provider shall, within thirty days of receipt of a request from a service provider, enter into an interconnection agreement, on a non-discriminatory basis”.

It also notes that any operator receiving the request for interconnection would have to send a draft interconnection agreement to the service provider which made the request within five working days.

Importantly, till now there was no explicit timeline for inking such agreements.

In September 2016, Jio had alleged that incumbents were not providing it with enough PoIs to connect calls. Later, the matter was arbitrated by Trai and incumbent operators released more PoIs. But, the faceoff between Jio and incumbent didn’t resolve completely as both parties were accusing each other.

A month later, Trai recommended a penalty of Rs 50 crore per circle against the three incumbent operators for denying sufficient PoIs to Mukesh Ambani-led Jio. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone were fined Rs 1,050 crore each for violating Trai guidelines while Idea paid Rs 950 crore.

However, Trai and the department of telecom were locked horn on the matter of the penalty amount. Trai had declined DoT suggestion to revise the amount. Currently, the penalty matter is being examined by a committee in the DoT.

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