VSNL, Reliance spar again

Mumbai, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
International bandwidth provider and wholly-owned Reliance Communications Ltd (RCL) subsidiary, FLAG Telecom, has approached the International Court of Arbitration once again following the failure of talks with the Tata-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) to arrive at mutually acceptable landing station access charges for its FLAG-Europe-Asia under-sea cable at the VSNL premises.

"Since the 90 days period permitted by Arbitration Award for negotiations, in good faith, for reasonable access charges at VSNLs Mumbai landing station is over, FLAG has approached the Tribunal for its determination of the reasonable and cost-based access charges," RCL said in a notice to the stock exchanges on Wednesday.

Earlier, on May 26, the Anil Ambani-owned RCL had won an award from the International Court of Arbitration of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to access its cable system at the VSNL landing station and upgrade capacity on it. The international tribunal had reserved the jurisdiction to determine the monetary relief, if any, to be awarded to FLAG to compensate it for being denied access to the landing station.

War Of Wires

Obstacle: Access charges
History: RCL had won an award from the International Court of Arbitration of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to access its cable system at the VSNL landing station
Damage: Rs 1,500 crore