The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified certain changes to the telecom interconnection rules. This will pave the way for easier interconnectivity between any two fixed line networks and between fixed line and national long distance (NLD) networks.

Outlining the amendments, TRAI said that within a service area, the location of points of interconnect (PoI) for call between any two fixed line networks and fixed line and NLD networks will be at a mutually agreed place between the interconnection provider and seeker. If the two sides fail to come to an agreement, the location of PoI for such networks will be Long Distance Charging Centre (LDCC). Further, TRAI said that in such a case, the carriage charge for carriage of calls from LDCC to Short Distance Charging Centres (SDCC) and vice versa, as applicable, shall be paid by the interconnection seeker to the interconnection provider.

Meanwhile, TRAI said that existing call connect points between two fixed line networks or fixed line and NLD networks will remain in operation for a period of minimum five years or till such time the interconnected service providers mutually decide to close such points, whichever is earlier. As per the regulator, the existing PoI at the SDCC level, for calls between Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and PSTN or between PSTN and NLD network can be closed if the services of either of the interconnected service providers are discontinued in that Short-Distance Charging Area(SDCA).

According to industry experts, TRAI’s Telecommunication Interconnection (Second Amendment) Regulations 2020 will bring procedural clarity and convenience for fixed line operators, and also address areas like closure of interconnect points in event of service discontinuation within a short-distance charging area.