ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Domestic Long Distance Telephony

In addition to the powerful arguments your editorial (‘Stunting Telecom Development’, April 22) has given for unlimited competition in domestic long distance (DLD) telephony, the following facts are of great relevance. Of the total long distance traffic originating in any state, about 80 per cent is terminated within the state. A maximum of 10 per cent is international and the remaining 10 per cent is to adjacent and other states within the country. To exclude DLD operators from carrying the intra-state traffic is leaving to them only 10 per cent of the non-local traffic. This is too little for any national operator.

It is wrong to think that the domestic long distance operator would, as a matter of course, invest in long distance transmission capacity, i e, either microwave radio or optical fibre cables. The Internet Policy and the National Telecom Policy envisage that utilities like the electric power companies, the railways and the Gas Authority of India can construct telecom infrastructure, i e, electronic/photonic transport capacity for use by themselves and for lease to authorised telecom and Internet Service Providers. Therefore the investment that would be required to be made by the DLD companies could be very small. Just as the private ISPs can take a license for providing service in a city, in a number of cities, in a state, several states, and the whole of India, private telephone companies offering domestic long distance telephony can be exactly like the ISPs. They will only put switches, routers and collect and terminate long distance traffic from and to subscribers over various access networks paying for them.

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