The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BSNL to privatise phone maintenance

New Delhi, Oct 2: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is likely to privatise the maintenance of telephones and has decided to take several measures to bring down the huge fault rate of telephones within three to five years.

Private agencies will be responsible for reworking the wiring and rewiring of telephone lines. BSNL will slowly move out the maintenance of house wiring to certified agencies. Funds will also be allocated from a separate corpus which will be created at a later stage.

Telephone faults are caused mainly due to various elements like telephone instruments, drop-wire, wire joints and cables. Faults also occur due to problems in internal plants.

“BSNL in its avatar as department of telecommunications has taken special efforts to reduce fault rates and set up committees to study the problems. We cannot claim to have met with a great deal of success but the fault rates over the period has been brought down to 11.6 faults per 100 stations per month during 2001-02,” BSNL sources said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has laid down the accepted fault rate as less than seven faults per 100 stations each month, which has to be achieved by June 2002 and less than three faults per 100 stations per month by June 2004.

In accordance with its decision to improve the fault rate, BSNL will take up telephone exchanges that have more than 30,000 telephone lines on a priority basis and do away with telephone poles in those areas. It will also upgrade external plant on an extensive basis and the work will be given to public sector units like ITI and others.

The cable records of all telephone exchanges with a capacity of 2,000 lines or more may be taken up and completed in two years. Senior officials of the secondary switching area may be asked to go in for direct procurement of hardware and software.

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