Last month, TRAI had asked all telecom operators to ensure that they provide a minimum speed of 512 kbps for all fixed line and mobile broadband customers. After a consultation paper was launched in this regard, TRAI came up with amendments to their draft guidelines, which sought a minimum speed for all Internet customers in India.
As per the guidelines issued by TRAI, “capability of the minimum download speed of 512kbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service.”
Although it is an excellent initiative, which was much needed in India, telecom operators are vehemently opposing this directive from TRAI.
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Sistema Shyam Teleservices have written to TRAI, expressing their reservations about the minimum broadband speed, stating that it will affect their revenues, and customers may exploit this ‘privilege’.
In a statement issued, Bharti Airtel said, “It cannot be the prerogative of the customer to keep accessing data at the defined broadband speed even beyond the assigned quota,”
Meanwhile Reliance issued a statement: “”service provider should have the freedom to throttle speeds, post-expiry of assigned data limit to prevent misuse of fixed broadband services beyond the designated quota”.
And, Sistema Shyam Teleservices said that the minimum speed of 215 kbps can only be “provided till the consumption of committed data under a tariff plan, beyond which throttling should be allowed to avoid exploitation/misuse by subscribers”.
In fact, Cellular Operators Association of India and Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, both have asked TRAI to revise the minimum speed clause.
Redditor Revolt; Launch Campaign For Minimum Speed
After all telecom operators came together to oppose TRAI’s directives, Reddit India users united to launch an integrated campaign to ensure that TRAI’s minimum speed guidelines are implemented.
In a thread posted yesterday, a draft letter was shared, and every Internet user in India has been asked to send this ‘appeal’ to firstname.lastname@example.org (Kapil Handa), who is the advisor of TRAI for Networks, Spectrum; Licensing. Here is the snapshot of the letter
As per this draft, the speed of 512 kbps is anyways too slow if compared globally, and if telecom players provide speed which is even slower than this, then there is actually no point of providing Internet in India.
Telecom players are obviously attempting to cut costs by lowering the standard of Internet in India. They must be reminded that BSNL has already declared 2 mbps minimum speed for their customers, and in reality, this should be the norm, not even 512 kbps.
Having said that, we fully support TRAI’s directives to ensure 512 kbps, and we hope that all telecom players implement this rule.
Do share the draft of recommendations to TRAI to help implement minimum speed of broadband in India.