Technology

Trai recommendations take IPTV out of internet access















NEW DELHI: Seeking to regularise internet services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended that IPTV and IP-VPN would not come under the definition of internet, and suggested that ISPs shall not be permitted to have PSTN/ PLMN connectivity and shall not allocate E.164 numbering.


It also wants to remove restrictions on the use of devices/protocol employed to make internet telephony calls to facilitate use of affordable and user-friendly devices/adapters conforming to international organisations specification like ITU/ IETF.

 

General consumer awareness to use authorised internet telephony services only needs to be developed. Print and electronic media will be effective in promoting such awareness.


The Trai recommendation prefaces that that the department of telecommunication had sought these, and says: "DoT has further conveyed that the review should address the issue of a large number of ISP licenses and limited viability issues, illegal or grey market activities and level playing field vis-?-vis other telecom service providers."


The recommendation says that the scope of internet access and internet content may be adopted in internet service license to bring clarity.


Accordingly, it has defined internet access as "Use of any Device/ technology / methodology to provide access to Internet unless explicitly prohibited."


"All content available without any access restriction on Internet and include web hosting, web co-location but do not include service providers‘ configured closed user group services," it says.


"In view of this IP-VPN and IPTV services are not permitted," the paper says.



Active interaction of DoT with foreign companies who have significant market share in global market to encourage Web hosting in India. Such initiatives should form part of our developmental agenda and necessary policies to encourage such web hosting need to be evolved.


General consumer awareness to use authorised internet telephony services only needs to be developed. Print and electronic media will be effective in promoting such awareness.


Trai says that all non-operational ISPs have to be identified and encouraged to roll out services quickly. In case such ISPs are not interested to roll out services, a framework to surrender the license as detailed below may be made available.


All ISPs who have completed the allocated period to roll out Internet services counted from the date of issue of the ISP license and have not yet rolled out their services have option to surrender the license paying five per cent of PBG as surrender charge within six months of such notification.


All ISPs who have not roll out services and want to surrender ISP licenses may be permitted to do so within six months form date of such notification by paying 2.5 per cent of PBG as surrender charges provided they have not yet completed allocated period for roll out of services.


"All ISPs who have already started Internet services and want to surrender ISP license will be permitted to do so without any surrender charges provided it gives due notice to its subscribers," Trai has suggested.


And all new ISP licenses shall either be issued for Category ‘A‘ or Category ‘B‘.


"Present practice of issuing Category ‘C‘ ISP licenses shall be done away with. All existing Caterogy ‘C‘ ISPs shall be encouraged to migrate to Category ‘B‘ or Category ‘A‘ by providing additional PBG and FBG.


"In case they do not migrate, they will be allowed to continue in Category ‘C‘ till expiry of existing license. It will not be renewed in Category ‘C‘," says the paper.


The existing eight Metro and major districts ( Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota, Chennai, Ahemdabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune) specified as separate category ‘B‘ areas for ISP licenses would be merged with the respective telecom circles while providing ISP licenses.


Existing ISPs have to pay new license fee to get integrated category ‘B‘ telecom circle license including eight major/ metro districts in respective telecom circles.


It has recommended charging of entry fee of Rs two million for Category ‘A‘ ISP and Rs one million for Category ‘B‘ ISP with immediate effect. This will not be applicable to existing ISPs.


"There will be only one ISP license to provide all services defined under ISP license including Internet telephony.


The present provision of separate ITSP license shall be done away with. An annual license fee shall be charged at the rate of 6 per cent of AGR subject to minimum of Rs 50,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 for categories ‘A‘, ‘B‘ and ‘C‘ ISPs respectively per year per licensed area.


This will provide better growth prospects to ISPs and ensure level playing field vis-?-vis other telecom service providers


A financial bank guarantee of Rs one million, Rs 100,000 and Rs 2500 for category ‘A‘, category ‘B‘ and category ‘C‘ ISPs respectively per licensed area is prescribed, which shall be submitted within three months from the date of such notifications.


The amount of bank guarantee will be reviewed from time to time as envisaged in the existing license.


Direct connectivity between ISPs shall be permitted and the scope of Internet telephony may be extended and include various categories.


"The clause 1.5 of Part II of schedule ‘C‘ relating to infrastructure facilities needs to be modified to ensure fair treatment to standalone ISPs by integrated ISPs. All tariffs for such telecom resources shall be matter between the ISP and the service provider(s) but shall be bound by any direction, if issued, by TRAI," the recommendation says.


The present ISP licensing condition clause 11.1 of part II, schedule ‘C‘ regarding arbitration of disputes needs to be amended to incorporate procedure for redressal of disputes between telecom service providers as prescribed in Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997.


Clause 13.8 of part II of schedule ‘C‘ of ISP license relating to penalty for breach of licensing conditions need to be modified to incorporate provision of penalty up to rupees one crore for violation of terms and conditions of license agreements. The appropriate provisions will help to effectively handle misuse of ISP license and deter tendencies of indulging in unlawful activities.


The definition of IP address in clause 18 of part I of schedule ‘C‘ of ISP license may be modified to permit use of up to 128 bit IP address or higher.


The provision of clause 1.10 of part II, Schedule ‘C‘ of ISP license regarding submission of encryption key needs to be modified keeping in view advancements in technologies. DoT need to work out appropriate framework after discussions with concerned agencies.


The provision of clause 1.3 of part II, Schedule ‘C‘ of ISP license provides for connection to International Internet gateway. Since security monitoring has already been mandated to ILDOs and International Internet gateway providers, the clause may be suitably modified. User Request Link (URL) based blocking is already mandated to ILDOs. This may also be mandated to International Internet gateway providers providing International Internet bandwidth.


All ISPs shall have maximum FDI cap/ equity of 74 per cent irrespective of whether they setup International Internet gateway or not. ISPs having higher FDI Cap/ equity at present shall be given a time up to two years to bring down FDI Cap/ equity to 74 per cent.


Modification in present method of charging of RF channels for back haul based on band width, number of hops, etc to user friendly procedure as percentage of AGR. This will encourage RF channel utilization for backhaul boosting Internet penetration.


The last of Trai‘s recommendations say that ISPs may be permitted to provide Unified Messaging Services (UMS) without any additional PBG.

 

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