Minimum Broadband Speed In India, 512 Kbps: Is That Benchmark Still Relevant?

Must Read

APAC Employees Desperate to Return to the Office [STUDY]

As researchers continue to take full advantage of the impromptu remote work experiment COVID-19 facilitated earlier this...

After Jio Platforms, Now JioFiber To Raise Billions In Investment!

if you are thinking that Mukesh Ambani is done with the investments in Jio Platforms after making...

BlackRock: The New Android Malware that Targets More Apps Than Ever Before

A new Android malware has become a nightmare for over 2.5 billion Android smartphone users worldwide. The...

With the entry of more content intensive services like Netflix, Saavn, and other streaming on-demand streaming sites, the Telecom regulator in India has informally directed ISPs and Telco providers to improve broadband speeds in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a ‘draft direction’ to stakeholders (ISPs, Telcos), seeking their comments as follows:

“Broadband is a data connection that is able to support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 512 Kbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service”

That means TRAI wants to set a benchmark for internet in India by ensuring that all broadband providers in the country provide a minimum download speed of 512 Kbps. The road to setting a minimum download speed is confusing, as there were numerous discrepancies and disputes between the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the TRAI regarding broadband plans in India. Here is a timeline of all the developments:

  • TRAI issues recommendations on May 2011, stating that the minimum download speed needs to be raised to 512 Kbps from 256 Kbps. It also added in the same recommendation that the benchmark for download speed will be at least 2 Mbps by January 2015.
  • As more ISPs began introducing Fair Usage Policies (FUP) plans, TRAI issued another direction in December 2012, stating that ISPs who do not meet the 256 Kbps limit will be liable to pay a non-compliance penalty of Rs 50,000 per parameter.
  • TRAI originally raised the minimum broadband speed to 512 Kbps in July 2014, through a consumer redressal notification stating that the minimum download speed is raised to 512 Kbps from the original 256 Kbps since 2011. The TRAI also added that the regulation would come into place once the official Gazette of India issues the notification through their records. However, while taking a closer into the gazette, no such notification was found in their records. In addition, one of the top ISPs in India, ACT is still found to be providing ‘ACT Swift Plan’ that falls to 256 Kbps after the FUP limit.

While, the recent notification has mandated just 512 Kbps as the minimum speed, all the previous plans of setting 2 Mbps as the minimum speed for all broadband providers have disappeared. It is not clear to this date, why the regulator has been holding up on the originally set benchmarks.

Advertisements

The State Of Broadband In India

Reports from TRAI shows that over 1.03 billion Indians are hooked onto some kind of a wireless device, including a mobile handset. The growth is expected to hit 30% by 2017. While the number of internet users in India touched 354 million by the end of June 2015—this means that more than half the population is yet to receive an internet subscription.

A TRAI report points out that even though India has over 108.95 million wireless broadband connections, but the wired broadband connections have added just about 140,000 connections during the September-October stretch. That is a tiny growth of just 0.87% in the entire month. While taking a deeper look, it is evident that wired connections in India increased by just 4.6% and stood at 16.27 million connection in October ’15 from 15.52 million in Mar ’15.

BSNL took the lead in the wired broadband segment with 61% a market share while the Fiber Internet-focused provider ACT took a 5% share.

TRAI-report-broadband

A 512 Kbps benchmark in India is a bad idea: Fiber Internet connections come at a big cost; that coupled with data caps on the high-speed internet could discourage more users from migrating or buying them. When the world’s average internet speed stands at 5 Mbps, India ranks fourth-last, according to Akamai 2015 rankings, with just 14% of the connections over 4 Mbps.

The above analysis shows that the rate at which broadband is being adopted in the country is slowing down considerably, mainly due to a lack of value plans. The Fair Usage Policy plans adopted by many ISPs received nothing but protests from the consumers and critics alike.

Advertisements

In brief, India needs to focus on the new shift in networking technologies, including high-speed mobile networks, wireline broadband to allow a value flow, and to bring in more subscriptions under its base. Focused investment and not just investments in manufacturing or campaigning initiatives are going to do good.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

OYO Gets New CEO And Merger To Boost Its Business In Japan

The hospitality industry has been one of the worst-hit due to COVID-19. The pandemic left the sector...

Microsoft Confirms That Buying TikTok Is On The Cards!

Putting an end to all speculations Microsoft has confirmed that the company is actively exploring options to buy TikTok. The Redmond giant...

Happy Birthday Charlie Cheever: Quora Is A Real Disruptor of Q&A Forum

If you ever asked any question on the internet, Charlie Cheever needs introduction to you. Old wine in a...

Facebook Launches Music Videos to Eat into YouTube’s Market

With the launch of Music Videos, Facebook has made another competitive move against its biggest opponent, Google. In a...

Facebook Reveals Big Plans Behind The WhatsApp JioMart Integration In India

After Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) acquired a minority stake of 9.99% in Jio Platforms for a whopping $5.7 billion in April, it was revealed that...

Microsoft To Acquire TikTok In the US?

The rumours are making rounds that Microsoft may acquire TikTok to keep the popular short video sharing app operational in the US.

In-Depth: Dprime

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

Fantastic 4: Four Day Work Week A Flashpoint Of Innovation?

It has been an idea that has been mooted by many, perhaps also somewhat sceptically. From being a dark horse to becoming...

More Articles Like This