You are charged, not connected

COIMBATORE, MARCH 17. Phone users, especially those making a call to a mobile phone from a BSNL land phone, went through an ordeal since Thursday morning. Because of interconnectivity problems, thousands of phone users were left in the lurch.

Interconnectivity issues have been harassing the phone users in this region for quite sometime and the problem reached its peak reportedly because of congestion on the routes and slowing down of the system.

Making a call to some of the private cellular service providers from a BSNL landline continued to be a major problem. The caller hears a beep but never gets connected. The person who receives the call got a display of the calling number on his mobile but it ended up as a missed call. If at all the call is connected, it got disconnected immediately. However, the caller is charged.

When contacted, BSNL officials said private service providers went on a massive expansion unmindful of the availability of resources leading to the crisis.

At least they would have to coordinate with the connectivity service provider. The BSNL was not willing to take the entire blame.

In many cases, the private operators doubled or even tripled their subscriber base by announcing rock bottom tariff plans and later came to the BSNL for enhancing connectivity. It required time either for want of resources or for executing the work. But, by then interconnectivity issues would have acquired alarming proportions.

A congestion-free network or interconnectivity always depended on the availability of enough circuits, lines either at the exchanges or at the Trunk Automatic Exchange (TAX), which was a gateway for the calls to mobile levels. The BSNL would install another 30,000-line capacity TAX at Race Course within the next two months.


Another reason for the situation to get worsen on Thursday was the ongoing work-to-rule agitation resorted to by the executive staff.

However, the BSNL trade unions termed it baseless, stating that the staff reported for work on turn basis.

If the agitation continues, even the ATMs and railway reservation system will be affected. If sabotage was involved, the guilty should be punished, demanded the secretary of the Coimbatore Consumer Cause, K. Kathirmathiyon. Agitations should not be at the cost of consumers. Those found guilty should be held accountable for the revenue loss caused, he demanded.

The fault repair booking system of the BSNL was not working on Thursday.

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