03 January 2008

Cyber citizens of India, your action is needed

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come out with the status paper on broadband speeds. It unlike other government agencies does not show lethargy of the ultimate kind. But still the paper leaves a lot of things unanswered. Though I have mailed to the authorities as indicated in the paper, but I suggest more people do so to build a stronger case. Here are my points

1. The definition of minimum speed must be changed radically. It should not be 'the last mile' speed, but a function of the the bandwidth the ISP has reserved for each of the 'always on' broadband connection. This is adviced because its seen in common parlance that ISPs provide actual download speeds with are considerably lower than what is expected. http://speedtest.net does  a good test of it. TRAI should also spell out fines for faltering in providing this service since most places its seems do it at will.

2. Speed provided does not depend on usage. The fact remains that the internet charges for higher speed broadband is considerably high. Making it over budget for most people. Its not that the use is not there, but its basically unaffordable for most. I believe there is a big difference between, unaffordable and lower perceived utility. This perhaps can be traced to the days of dialups with ultra high connectivity charges(Rs50/hr + telephone charges).

3. In the report its mentioned

The definition of broadband clearly says “An `always-on’ data connection that is able to support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 256 kilo bits per second (kbps) to an individual subscriber…..”.

I request TRAI to fine all ISPs who either do not have sufficient bandwidth at the point of service to serve all the user that they have garnered. As always the buisnesses dislike change, but change for betterment of consumers must come from institutions like TRAI

All readers are requested to send their views to Mr. S. K. Gupta, Advisor (Converged Network), Tel.No. +91 11 23217914, Fax: +91 11 23211998 or email at guptask@trai.gov.in or guptask61@gmail.com.

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