Trai seeks stakeholder views on broadband speed

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August 20, 2020 6:08 PM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has fixed September 21 as the last date for the comments and October 5 for counter-comments.

Trai said that during the past five-six years, it has issued several recommendations to the government on some broadband-related issues.Trai said that during the past five-six years, it has issued several recommendations to the government on some broadband-related issues.

Telecom regulator Trai on Thursday invited public views to define broadband speed in various categories for both mobile as well as fixedline services, and sought suggestions on ways to increase the speed in order to meet the objective of the existing policy.

A consultation paper by the regulator in this regard on Thursday follows a request from the Department of Telecommunications in the matter. It aims to promote broadband connectivity in the country and figure out measures to be taken to enhance the broadband speed as envisaged in the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018.

“In essence, it appears that DoT is seeking the Authority’s recommendations on — defining fixed and mobile broadband, innovative approaches for infrastructure creation, promoting broadband connectivity, and measures to be taken for enhancing broadband speed,” Trai said in its consultation paper.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has fixed September 21 as the last date for the comments and October 5 for counter-comments.

The NDCP 2018 set a target to provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 megabit per second (mbps) to every citizen, one gbps connectivity to all gram panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 gbps by 2022.

The policy target set under NDCP 2018 includes facilitation of 100 mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions, including all educational institutions, enabling fixedline broadband access to 50 per cent of households, deployment of 50 lakh public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2020 and 1 crore by 2022.

Trai said that during the past five-six years, it has issued several recommendations to the government on some broadband-related issues.

“Some of them are still under consideration of the government. Many new strategies have been identified in the NDCP 2018. Such strategies need to be converted into actionable points,” Trai said.

The regulator said it has recommended that from January 1, 2015, the minimum download speed for broadband be revised to 2 mbps but this recommendation has not been implemented by the government.

Trai said it has issued recommendations to the government on setting up a public WiFi network because despite significant progress in the space of mobile broadband, delivering reliable and affordable broadband services in the dense urban areas, inside buildings, and rural and remote areas remains a challenge.

“Lack of ubiquitous high-speed and reliable broadband connectivity not only adversely affects the Digital India programme…but also reduces the productivity of individuals and enterprises,” Trai said.

The regulator said that in achieving the average 50 mbps broadband speed objective of the NDCP-2018, there could be many bottlenecks in the internet space in the country that need to be identified and addressed.

“Some of those could be relating to capacity and congestion in the access and core networks, quality of devices being used to access internet, availability, and efficient utilisation of available spectrum for delivering broadband services,” Trai said.

It could also be related to unavailability or restricted availability of locally hosted content, and switching of internet traffic, the regulator said.

It has also sought views on whether the existing Right of Way Rules 2016 for rolling out telecom networks in the field has been effective and changes required to make it more effective.

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