Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put forward suggestions to fix the minimum download speed for broadband connectivity at 2Mbps.
This is 4x more than the going speed of 512Kbps which was introduced back in 2014 as an upgrade to the earlier 256Kbps speed.
Incentive To Increase Speed
To achieve the ideal speed, TRAI has promised exemption for operators in the License Fees (LF).
Currently, fixed-line internet service providers (ISPs) are charged 8% LF on their revenues.
This can be reduced to incentivise the companies to offer better speeds.
Internet Connectivity In Rural Areas
TRAI has further suggested to the govt that it speed up the rollout of fixed-line broadband in rural areas.
Increasing penetration of fixed-line broadband is important since only 9.1% of Indian households have fixed broadband.
The majority have only mobile broadband to provide internet access.
Ensuring Increased Rural Internet Access
TRAI says that the govt can incentivise investment in the last-mile linkage for fixed-line broadband.
It can also develop an interest subvention scheme for capable operators providing wired Internet connections.
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme
Under the scheme, the govt could reimburse half of the monthly fixed-line broadband subscription charges of not more than Rs. 200 per month.
As the compensation is in the form of DBT, users will get the reimbursement directly in their linked bank accounts.
Increasing Overall Broadband Penetration
In its 301-page document, TRAI has added inputs on how broadband penetration in the country can be increased.
It observed that considering the inputs received from stakeholders as well as its internal analysis, the existing 512Kbps speed is “inadequate for accessing even some basic applications.”
Therefore, it put forward its suggestion to increase the speed to 2 Mbps.
Broadband Speed Categories
It also suggested that following the UK and Europe, India also classifies fixed broadband connections into three different categories.
- ‘Basic Broadband’ for connections with download speeds between 2–50Mbps
- ‘Fast Broadband’ with 50–300Mbps
- ‘Super-Fast Broadband’ with download speeds of above 300Mbps
India Vs Other Countries
In comparison to other countries, India’s broadband penetration is at about 55%.
This means fixed broadband is accessible to 1.69 per hundred inhabitants.
In China, the rate is 95%, and that of European nations is between 95 and 115%.
In France 44.6 per hundred inhabitants have fixed broadband access.
The rate in Korea is 42.8 and 42.7 in Germany.