TRAI amends internet directions in consonance with DoT's broadband definition

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed an amendment to its direction relating to internet services to bring it in consonance with the new definition of broadband given by the Department of Telecom.

The Department on 18 July, 2013 said, “Broadband is a data connection that is able to support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 512 kbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service.”

TRAI had on 27 July, 2012 directed the service providers to provide broadband services in a transparent manner.

In order to ensure transparency in delivery of internet and broadband services and to protect interests of consumers of the telecom sector and to facilitate further growth of internet and broadband services in India, TRAI now intends to direct all telecom service providers providing broadband (wire-line or wireless) services to provide on their website and also in all advertisements published through any media, the following information in respect of all broadband tariff plans offered under Fair Usage Policy.

TRAI has sought views of stakeholders by 1 February with counter comments, if any, by 8 February.

For Fixed broadband service, TSPs should indicate data usage limit with specified speed; speed of broadband connection upto specified data usage limit; and speed of broadband connection beyond data usage limit.

For Mobile broadband service, data usage limit with specified technology (3G/4G) for providing services; technology (3G/4G) offered for providing broadband services up to specified data usage limit; and technology (2G/3G/4G) offered for providing broadband services beyond data usage limit.

TSPs should also provide information to both new and existing subscribers on their registered email address and through SMS on their mobile number registered with the service providers; and ensure that download speed of broadband service provided to the fixed broadband subscriber is not reduced below 512 kbps in any broadband tariff plan; provide alert to the subscriber when his data usage reaches 80 per cent of the data usage limit under his plan and ensure that such alert is provided to the fixed broadband subscriber at each login after data usage crosses the said limit of eighty percent; and send alert to the subscriber either through SMS or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) on his mobile number, registered with the service provider or to his registered email address, each time when the data usage by the subscriber reaches eighty per cent and hundred per cent of the data usage limit under his plan.

The TSPs should also furnish compliance report by in a transparent manner.

At the outset, TRAI says it has been entrusted with discharge of certain functions, inter alia, to regulate the telecommunication services, protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector, lay-down the standards of quality of service to be provided by the service providers and ensure the quality of service and conduct the periodical survey of such service provided by the service providers so as to protect interest of the consumers of telecommunication services.

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