The Centre has modified the definition of broadband connectivity by raising the minimum download speed to 2 Mbps (megabits per second).
The speed earlier was 512 kbps (kilobits per second), as per the notification in July 2013.
Broadband definition revised
“In supersession of the definition of broadband issued vide notification dated July 18, 2013 and after consideration of the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Central Government hereby revise the definition of broadband as follows…,” the notification dated January 25 read.
This notification which came into immediate effect defined broadband as a data connection that enables interactive communication through the internet.
The definition further goes, “with a “capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service”.
Distribution across India
Out of 825.4 million broadband subscribers in India, 793.5 million were wireless users, and the rest were wireline, as per November 30, 2022 data.
Jio with 430.18 million broadband subscribers tops India’s list of the biggest service providers.
Collectively the top 5 take up the majority chunk of 98.4% market share as per November data.
Airtel came second with 230.56 million subscribers.
Vodafone Idea clocked 123.48 million subscribers, BSNL had 25.85 million, while Atria Convergence had just over 2 million.
Regions to be benefited
Broadband India Forum President, TV Ramachandran said that the revision of the minimum speed will benefit broadband users in rural and semi urban regions.
Although access to broadband needs a lot more progress considering the overall population, he called the recent change in definition a “step in the right direction”.
TRAI had recommended the change in August 2021 of minimum download speed for broadband connectivity from 512 kbps to 2 Mbps.
How broadband is classified
Broadband is divided into three categories depending on the download speed – basic, fast and super fast.
India registered 25.29 Mbps median mobile download speeds in December 2022
Compare this to 8.26 Mbps in November 2022.
Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index announced on January 27 that India was now globally at the 79th position jumping from 105 in November.