Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday lowered the access facilitation charges
(AFC) for submarine cable landing stations to reduce communication cost
for BPOs and small enterprises.
Operators will now pay Rs. 36,000 per
annum for low capacity STM-1 and Rs. 6.25 lakh for high capacity STM-64
per unit capacity at the cable landing station, TRAI said in
'International Telecommunication Cable Landing Stations Access
Facilitation Charges and Co-Location Charges Regulations, 2012'.
charges are substantially lower than the prevailing charges and are
likely to result in reduction in the price of International Private
Leased Circuits for BPOs/ Call Centers, small and medium enterprises and
other information technology enabled service providers," TRAI said in
The new regulations will be effective from January
1, 2013, the TRAI statement said. It, however, did not provide the
The charges for alternate location ranges between Rs. 1.11 lakh to Rs. 19.50 lakh, it added.
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.
cables provide international telecommunication links between countries
across the world and these cables terminate in the country through cable
"Availability of international bandwidth at
competitive price to ISPs for rapid growth of broadband services,
international carriage of voice/data at competitive rates and boosting
of competition in the international bandwidth segment," TRAI said.
had issued the earlier regulations International Telecommunication
Access to Essential Facility at Cable Landing Station Regulations in
With a view to align AFC with current cost and utilisation, TRAI issued consultation paper on March 22, 2012.
the basis of cost data submitted by service providers, TRAI estimated
AFC and issued a consultation paper on 'Estimation of Access
Facilitation Charges and Co-location Charges at Cable Landing Stations'
on October 19, 2012, for further comments/counter comments of