Undersea Link

August 21, 2007 (LBO) – Indian telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is to increase charges on a submarine cable link with Sri Lanka Telecom that carries voice and data traffic between the two countries. It has also demanded the Indian government withdraw the new service tax and educational tax at 12.5 per cent on foreign operators carrying international traffic through submarine cables. The state-owned BSNL decided on the move after revenues from submarine cable carriage declined with the appreciation of the Indian rupee and imposition of new taxes on foreign operators for carrying international traffic through it, Indian media reports said.

Submarine cables are the main medium for transmission of international traffic ” both voice and data and international carriers have to pay carriage charges to submarine providers for using their cables, the Indian Express newspaper said.

The 325 km long submarine optical fibre cable, called Bharat-Lanka cable system, runs from Tuticorin in India to Mount Lavinia in Sri Lanka.

It connects Indian telecom networks with that of Sri Lanka Telecom and provides international private leased circuits, broadband internet, international direct dialing tra