Regulators

TRAI paper on broadband next month

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will come out with a comprehensive consultation paper on broadband next month. It will invite views of public on issues related to roll out of broadband in the country.

Inaugurating the "Eighth Mobile India Summit: Broadband Highway-Driving India’s Growth” organised by Assocham, TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar said, “The authority has been working on broadband issues, and hopefully, we will come out with a paper on broadband, may be by the end of next month.” He also admitted that India’s progress in terms of broadband has been very limited and disappointing.

"Of 1.8 lakh kilometres (kms) cable that has been ordered 15,000 has been delivered which is just about eight per cent, of six lakh kms for ducting actual achievement is about 2,000 kms which is about 0.3 per cent, the optical fibre cable pulled is about 250 kms which is less than 0.05 per cent of the target and all this has been achieved in past two years,” he added.

He further stressed the need for targeted approach to achieve broadband policy objectives. He also focused on the scope to use available private infrastructure in conjunction with already existing public infrastructure

TRAI is also planning to issue a consultation paper soon to discuss regulatory framework around Over-the-top (OTT) players like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, WeChat etc.

The OTT players facilitate free calls and messaging services, making it affordable for consumers to use them. Telecom subscribers are required to pay only internet charges to their operators for using OTT services.

The authority had recently organised a seminar on ‘Regulatory Framework for OTT Services’ with the aim to provide a platform for exchanging views on key issues related to OTT and also rejected the proposal put forward by telcos to charge popular apps.

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