India’s BSNL cuts off operators following dispute

The stand-off between India’s state-owned telco BSNL and several private operators shows no signs of abating, with even emergency services remaining unavailable to non-BSNL users in parts of the country.

BSNL has effectively cut off connectivity to Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular numbers in the state of Haryana, over a dispute regarding non-payment of fees for providing interconnection between fixed lines and mobiles. BSNL is claiming that it is owed $550,000 by the three operators.

The interruption of services reached its eighth consecutive day on Thursday.

According to reports by local press outlets in India, emergency services in Haryana have been badly affected by the dispute, as a majority of them are connected via BSNL operated landlines. As a reult, police services, hospitals and fire services are currently out of reach in various parts of the country.

BSNL had suspended interconnection of services to five mobile operators in the state of Punjab in late September, but has since restored services to two of them: Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices after telecom tribunal TDSAT ordered the company to restore its service.

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