TRAI to host open house meet on broadband issues and how this can be speeded

NEW DELHI: An Open House Discussion (OHD) will be held next week on how broadband can be delivered quickly and what the stakeholders or the government needs to do for this. The OHD is being organised in the capital on 30 October by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a Consultation Paper issued earlier by it on this subject.

It had earlier sought comments by 14 October and counter-comments by 21 October on the questions raised by it. In the paper, TRAI had asked what immediate measures were required to promote wireline technologies in access networks and how the cost per line for various wireline technologies can be minimised.

It also wanted to know the impediments to the deployment of wireless technologies in the access network. Referring to its recommendations on Microwave backhaul, it asked whether there were any other issues which needed to be addressed to ensure availability of sufficient Microwave backhaul capacity for the growth of broadband in the country.

The pricing of Domestic Leased Circuits (DLC) was reviewed in July 2014 and the Regulator wanted to know if there were any other issues which can improve availability of DLC. It sought the specific reasons that Internet Service Providers are proactively not connecting with NIXI, the National Internet Exchange of India.

It asked if the hosting of content within the country help in reduction of the cost of broadband to a subscriber. It also wondered if public sector units were ideal choices for implementing the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project.

It also wanted to know if it is possible to piggyback on the existing private sector access networks so as to minimize costs in reaching remote rural locations. In this connection, it sought views on the major issues in obtaining right of way for laying optical fibre.

TRAI wondered if the Government should consider framing guidelines to mandate compulsory deployment of duct space for fibre/telecommunications cables and space for telecommunication towers in all major physical infrastructure construction projects such as building or upgrading highways, inter-city metros, railways or sewer networks.

What were the impediments to the provision of Broadband by Cable operators, the regulator asked and whether there were any regulatory issues in providing internet facility through Wi-Fi Hotspots.

TRAI, which recently gave its views on spectrum and also sought some clarifications from the Department of Telecom, asked how much spectrum would be required in the immediate future and in the long term to meet the target of broadband penetration.

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