Telecom infrastructure companies have sought an immediate intervention from the government to clear outstanding dues worth Rs 15 billion from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Furthermore, highlighting the urgency, companies have added that this has resulted in network outages and their inability to maintain services amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

To this end, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has urged the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for urgent intervention and support in clearing the dues of their infrastructure provider members for maintaining round the clock continuity of telecom operations at BSNL tower sites.

As per TAIPA, these challenges were leading to issues in maintaining the uptime as per the service-level agreement for BSNL tower sites resulting in network outage and blackouts in nearby site areas.

Further, outstanding dues by BSNL have also led to the inability in making rental payments of tower sites as well as power bills in addition to the procurement of diesel and batteries.

In a letter to BSNL, TAIPA said that there was a need to clear dues of its IP – 1 members due to which they were facing a huge cash crunch, leading to challenges with regard to ensuring 24×7 telecom operations on telecom tower sites of BSNL in view of the present COVID-19 situation.

TAIPA represents infrastructure providers such as the American Tower Corporation (ATC), Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers, TowerVision, GTL Infrastructure, Space Telelink Limited and Applied Solar Technologies.