Telecom firms ask Palike to lower rental on OFCs

Telecom firms ask Palike to lower rental on OFCs

Telecom companies in the City have appealed to the BBMP to reduce monthly rental charges on Optical Fibre Cables (OFC).

At a meeting convened by Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy, executives of 18 telecom companies presented their case.

Although the companies did not object to paying Rs 300 per metre as road cutting charges for laying OFCs, they were aggrieved over paying rental charge of Rs 120 per metre.

Highlighting their stance, representatives of telecom firms said they will have to pay at least Rs 1,440 per metre annually, which is exorbitant, and would hurt the business.

Except for Karnataka, municipal bodies in no other state in the country have fixed any rental on OFCs, they added.

Stating that firms could not avoid paying rental, the Mayor said he would however consider reducing the charges after seeking consent of the Council.

The BBMP had expected to garner Rs 780 crore revenue from telecom companies last year.

However, the Palike failed to collect the said revenue, as the telecom firms sought a stay from the High Court of Karnataka against the alleged high rental.

Venkatesh Murthy asked the firms to find a way out before the tabling of the budget, thus, enabling the Palike to present a ‘realistic budget.’

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