Regulator Trai has extended by three weeks the deadline for submission of comments on a contentious discussion paper on levying spectrum usage charge linked to annual revenues for ISPs, on the lines of mobile players.
“Trai has received request from stakeholders for extension of time for submission of comments,” Trai said in a statement.
Accordingly, the regulator has extended the last date for submission of comments on its consultation paper — Spectrum Usage Charges and Presumptive Adjusted Gross Revenue for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Commercial Very Small Aperture Terminal (V-SAT) Service Providers — to October 13 and counter comments to October 27.
Originally, the deadline for receiving comments and counter comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper was September 19 and October 3, respectively.
Immediately after Trai had floated the paper in August, ISP Association of India had said any move to link spectrum usage charges to the revenue will be “disastrous”. The move could potentially push up broadband costs for consumers as ISPs currently pay “formula-based spectrum charges”, industry watchers had said.
The regulator has also extended, by two weeks, the deadline for submission of comments on another consultation paper pertaining to overhaul of quality norms for cellular services.
“On further request from stakeholder, the last date for receipt of written comments, if any, from the stakeholders is once again extended by two more weeks that is up to September 30 and counter comments up to October 7,” Trai said.
As part of this consultation paper, Trai has proposed stricter quality norms for local areas and is also mulling imposition of graded financial disincentives for poor services.
At present, the quality norms are at service area level (averaging the performance of the entire service area as a whole), but Trai feels such a calculation may give a “different picture” about the quality of customer experience.
“There could be many areas or localities within the service area where the quality of service (QoS) could be poor,” Trai had said in the consultation paper.