Regulators

TDSAT directs Zeel to sign RIO based interconnect pacts with five MSOs

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NEW DELHI: Five multi-system operators have been asked by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to pay Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (Zeel) a sum of Rs 3 crore to enable the signing of an RIO based interconnect agreement.

Chairman Aftab Alam and member B B Srivastava said the agreement would be from 19 May, the date from which the petitioners are operating on that basis.

Listing the matter to come up on 16 August, the tribunal on 2 June made it clear that both the payment of Rs 3 crores and the direction for execution of the RIO based agreement is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties and will abide by the final result of the petition.

The petitions were filed by Fastway Transmission Pvt Ltd, Jagsumi Perspectives Pvt Ltd, Novabase Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, and Radiant Digitek Network Pvt. Ltd against a general notice asking all the MSOs who on the date of issuance (11 May) of the fresh RIO by Zee Entertainment did not have a subsisting interconnect agreement with it to execute an agreement based on the RIO. 

The petitioners were willing to execute an RIO based agreement until the validity and legality of the RIO coming under challenge in this petition and several other petitions on that issue is finally decided by the tribunal.

But the tribunal said the difficulty was that Zeel said the petitioners owe the sum of Rs 5.4 crores and odd and unless the dues are cleared, it is not inclined even to enter into the RIO based inter connect agreement. But the petitioners say the dues, if properly worked out, would come down to Rs 1,66,16,726, which the petitioners are agreeable to pay.

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