Sources in BSNL told eFE that the PSU has decided to rope in the service of an independent agency to conduct periodic audits of its basic telecom services. This is to ensure that our services match or even better the benchmark parameters set by Telecom Regulatory Development Authority (Trai). We have invited bids from qualified external agencies for the QoS audit. A number of consultants including big ones are in the race to bag the mandate, sources said adding, the audit by external agencies will be in addition to the periodic internal audits being conducted by us. However, they did not reveal the names of the companies who are in the race saying that it is yet to be finalised.
The independent agency will conduct quarterly audits of BSNLs basic telecom services on the basis of 10 key parameters set by Trai. These include on demand exchanges providing telephones within seven days of applications, less than 3 faults per 100 connections, fault repair by next working day, less than 8 hour mean time for repair, metering and billing credibility and customer care.
Trai, in its latest QoS report published in September 2003 had rapped BSNL for its abysmal performance. In most of the ten QoS parameters, BSNL ranked far behind the private sector basic service providers.
The idea of external QoS audit was first mooted by Trai in the case of internet service providers (ISPs) a couple of months back. According to the Trai idea, such audits would bring in more reliable data since it would cover a wider spectrum of users belonging to different segments.
It will also ensure more transparency and credibility to such audits. Trai has even suggested punitive actions including hefty fines and even, in some cases, cancellation of licences.