TRAI issues direction on broadband definition

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has directed all telecom service providers providing broadband (wire-line or wireless) services to provide certain services in respect of all broadband tariff plans offered under Fair Usage Policy on their websites and advertisements in view of the broader definition of Broadband as directed by the Department of Telecom.

The Department in a notification of 18 July 2013 had amended the definition of broadband, saying: “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.”

The information, which must be published in all advertisements published through any media, in respect of all broadband tariff plans offered under Fair Usage Policy will mention for Fixed broadband service:

1. Data usage limit with specified speed;

2. Speed of broadband connection up to specified data usage limit; and speed of broadband connection beyond data usage limit;

For Mobile broadband service:

1. Data usage limit with specified Primary technology (3G/4G) for providing data services;

2. Speed offered for providing data services beyond data usage limit;

3. provide information specified in para (a) above to both new and existing subscribers on their registered email address and through SMS on their mobile number registered with the service provider, as opted by consumer;

4. ensure that download speed of broadband service provided to the fixed broadband subscriber is not reduced below minimum download speed for broadband as defined by the DoT from time to time in any Fair usage broadband tariff plan after expiry of assigned data quota of consumers;

5. Provide alert to the subscriber through SMS on his registered Mobile Number or to his registered e-mail address each time when his data usage reaches fifty, ninety and hundred percent of the data usage limit under his plan. TSP should also maintain a portal/website so that user can access his usage at any point of time.

The TRAI direction is in supersession of its earlier direction of 27 July 2012. The new direction has been issued in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 13, read with Section 11(1)(b). of the TRAI Act 1997 and 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.

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