At a time when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is expected to announce its recommendations for increasing the Internet and broadband penetration, we take a closer look at the issue. Trai, in its consultation paper, talks of three methods of unbundlingfull access, line sharing and bitstream access.
Under full local loop access, competitive providers have access to both voice and data on incumbents line. Under shared unbundling, competitive providers have access to either voice or data portion of the line. Under bitstream access, the incumbent installs high speed access links to its customers and allows competitive providers access to this link, says Trai. In this arrangement, the incumbent maintains control of the technology and service provisions.
Japan, Korea have had successful experience in local loop unbundling
Talking about the usual problems that operators face while unbundling the local loop, Mr Philpott said, Competitors argue incumbents have been slow and make it hard on the ground while sharing access. There are complaints that incumbents are pricing the local loop too high.
However, local loop unbundling does have its benefits. Since it leads to increased competition, it results in service differentiation, prices come down and it also results in improved quality of service (QoS). In effect, this creates better choice for consumers, he says.