Trai comes down heavily on RWAs for charging money from telcos for access during Covid-19 lockdown

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June 11, 2020 4:00 AM

Sharma said when the access for electricity and water is given without any problem, why are telecom operators are being charged for providing connectivity? He termed the practice as “perverse”.

Trai, RWAs, telcos, RS Sharma, Covid-19 pandemic, Assocham,RWA, telecom operators,latest news on traiTrai chairman RSharma said as physical interactions and meetings are not going to be common, there are digital alternatives available.

While lauding the telecom operators for their services during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma came down heavily on some builders and RWAs for charging telcos for entry inside housing societies and colonies.

Sharma said when the access for electricity and water is given without any problem, why are telecom operators are being charged for providing connectivity? He termed the practice as “perverse”.

Sharma, who was speaking during a webinar organised by Assocham, said there is a trend where builders and resident welfare associations (RWAs) are charging money from telecom service providers to allow them to enter premises.

“Telecom service providers are providing service in a non-discriminatory manner, they are not charging any premium from those who are living in these complexes, they are providing a service, but they are being told you are not allowed… You have to pay this much of money,” he said.

He added that the Trai is engaging with the urban development ministry to address the problem. “We do not have any kind of provision thus far to make telecom infrastructure inside buildings as a pre-condition for giving completion certificates, so that is what we are going to do and we must tell you that the Ministry of Urban Development has been very positive,” Sharma said.

He highlighted that the ongoing pandemic has taught many things, including the importance of information and communication sector. At a time when everything came to a standstill due to lockdown, the telecom operators kept everyone connected. “Such a thing was not possible 20 years ago.”

Sharma said as physical interactions and meetings are not going to be common, there are digital alternatives available.

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