Regulators

Wi-fi proliferation: Discussion on 20 Dec

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NEW DELHI: In view of the importance attached to public Wi-Fi systems, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will be holding an open house discussion on 20 December 2016 in the capital on its consultation paper on “Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Networks” issued on 13 July 2016.

The issuance of this paper was followed by reactions and then a workshop in Bengaluru.

Through a set of 12 questions, the Authority had sought to get the opinion of stakeholders including internet and telecom service providers on how best Wi-fi (an acronym for Wireless Fidelity) can grow in the country.

At the outset, the regulator had noted that the growth of Internet penetration in India and realisation of its full potential is closely tied to the proliferation of broadband services. “Broadband” is currently defined to mean a data connection that is able to support interactive services, including Internet access, with the capability of a minimum download speed of 512 kbps. It therefore refers to a means of delivering high-speed Internet access services.

Later, on 16 November, TRAI issued a second paper on model for nation-wide interoperable and scalable wi-fi networks.

Earlier, TRAI had said it realised the importance of public Wi-Fi networks as complementary to existing landline and cellular mobile infrastructure in improving broadband penetration and adoption of Digital India.

The objective of the new paper issued last month posing six questions was two-fold:

a) To explore whether the model proposed in this Note can be incorporated in Public Wi-Fi networks to promote appropriate monetization and business models for sustainable and scalable infrastructure deployment.

b) To explore the roles of different stakeholders in the Public Wi-Fi network value chain and build an ecosystem for promoting scalable and sustainable partnerships for large scale nation wide deployment.

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