The Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) last week directed GTPL Hathway to ensure that signals are continued to be made available to two Andhra Pradesh based Local Cable Operators (LCOs) without any disconnection till the next date given they clear the invoice amounts as per present practice.
Vaji Communications and Vizianagar Citi Communications had moved TDSAT against GTPL Hathway against the disconnection of signals. Both had moved TDSAT separately but both cases were heard together through video conferencing given the issues were similar.
Both LCOS stated that the supply of signals was disconnected on 22th April without any notice and wanted restoration of signals with the final relief for a direction to GTPL Hathway to enter into a written interconnect agreement.
GTPL on its behalf said that there was no disconnection but if there was any disruption of any kind then it would ensure that the supply is available and continued.
GTPL stated that if the LCOs continued to pay the invoice amount as per past practice, then there would no disconnection and in case it is forced to disconnect, it would only be in accordance with law after giving notice. GTPL however asked for an assurance that they would take steps to ensure there is no piracy of signals.
Vaji Communications and Vizianagar Communications offered an undertaking that there would be no piracy although their stand was that there was no piracy case so far. They also offered to make payment of the invoice amount as per the present practice.
Posting the matter for hearing in May end, TDSAT stated, “In view of aforesaid stand of the parties, the respondent shall ensure that the signals are continued to be made available to the petitioner without any disconnection till the next date provided the invoice amounts are paid by the petitioner as per past practice. As prayed, two weeks’ time is granted to the respondent to file their reply. The same time is granted to the petitioner for filing rejoinder, if any, thereafter. The interim arrangement made above shall continue until further orders. Post the matter for directions on 27.05.2020.”