Regulators

TRAI urges govt. to use digital TV networks for b'band growth

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NEW DELHI: The digitised TV framework, which has come up in the country in a big way, should be upgraded to provide broadband to 100 million homes, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended.

TRAI chairman R S Sharma said that it had also recommended tweaking the licensing framework to enable Wi-Fi hotspots as almost 800,000 such Wi-Fi hotspots were needed to connect India digitally.

Speaking on ?India?s Regulatory Priorities for 2017? on the second day of India Internet Conference (IIC) 2017 here yesterday, he said TRAI had recommended that broadband can become a core utility to citizens if BharatNet is implemented in the PPP mode to connect 250,000 gram panchayats across the country.

The theme of the conference was ?Digital India 4 Sustainable Development? organised by FICCI in association with the Electronics & IT Ministry (MeitY).

Speaking about the overarching principles, Sharma said TRAI was regulating the sector to ensure consumer protection, quality of service, transparency, growth of the sector and a level playing field for stakeholders. He added that TRAI was regulating the sector to ensure its healthy growth. He also mentioned that TRAI was working towards enhancing ease of doing business and was seeking recommendations from the stakeholders to identify the tricky areas.

Sharma said there were regulations that have lost their relevance over time and therefore TRAI had formed a committee comprising stakeholders to remove obsolete regulations. He added that TRAI was working towards identifying the important issues while dealing with urgent matters to bring out appropriate consultation papers.

Broadband proliferation in the country was a priority, he said adding that the focus was on creating infrastructure, governance and services on demand and digital empowerment of citizens digitally connect the country.

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