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DoT penalises rogue Internet companies

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, AUG. 26 . Beginning with three companies, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has started cracking down on Internet service providers (ISP) running illegal telephone exchanges that are eroding the income of legal service providers and causing loss in taxes to the Central Exchequer. Penalty totalling over Rs. 4.50 crores has already been imposed on three ISPs that ignored licence conditions and frequent DoT directives asking them not to encourage the grey Internet telephony market.

Official sources said the three ISPs found misusing Internet leased lines were Dishnet DSL, Spectranet and Primus Telecommunication. They had been fined Rs. 2.28 crores, Rs. 2.34 crores and Rs. 9 lakhs, respectively. Other defaulting ISPs would face similar action, warned officials.

Some ISPs have been misusing Internet leased lines by switching international calls to Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) bypassing duly permitted networks of national long distance, international long distance and basic services operators.

In some cases, pre-paid cards have also been used to originate calls from PSTN numbers which were switched to international numbers through Internet illegally.

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