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TRAI moots watchdog for broadband services

22-May-2004
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TRAI moots watchdog for broadband services

With broadband recommendations already in place, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has mooted a certifying and monitoring body as part of a mechanism to ensure quality of service.

TRAI has suggested that the proposed body would not only certify that the service meets the 256 kilobits per second (Kbps) minimum speed and always-on connectivity criteria as laid down in the definition of broadband, but also monitor the service on a regular basis.

"It is important to have a body to monitor the service and ensure that the minimum standards are met. And it has to be done before the operators roll out their services instead of reacting later. This is because the subscribers would typically pay a substantial amount upfront and should not be saddled with a less than optimal service," the TRAI Consultant, Mr Kunal Bajaj, told Business Line.

Mr Bajaj said it was important for both consumers and service providers to understand what broadband means so that quality of service was maintained.

Asked if the proposed body would be under the TRAI or a separate entity, Mr Bajaj said that it was for the Government and the regulator to work out such details.

When contacted, the Internet Service Providers' Association of India (ISPAI) President, Mr Amitabh Singhal, said that any such watchdog was welcome, as it would ensure non-serious players did not enter the market.

Mr Singhal, however, said that the body should also have industry representation to be more effective and the TRAI must ensure that the back-end infrastructure providers also fall under its purview.

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