The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Longer happy hours on the Net

New Delhi, March 12: It’s good news once again for internet users. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has decided to extend the off-peak concessional rate by four hours.

The off-peak hours, which currently extend from 10.30 pm to 6.30 am, will be extended both ways and will be effective from 8 pm to 8 am.

Trai said the present off-peak hours offered less choice to the users in terms of time and are such that majority of users could not take advantage of concessionary rates available during the period.

However, Trai has not specified the extent of concession that is to be offered during the off-peak hours. The concession amount has been left to the discretion of individual operators and market forces. Nevertheless, the regulator has stated that it would not hesitate to specify the extent of concessions, if required.

A Trai statement said that it will keep a close watch on the functioning of this arrangement. “Should it at any time observe that the measure is not having the desired effect, it would intervene and, if necessary, specify the extent of concessions as well.”

“The concerns of the basic operators about the recovery of their costs having being largely taken care of through the new interconnection usage charge (IUC) regime and the 24th amendment to the Tariff Order, it is reasonable to expect that the operators can now, on their own offer affordable concessionary rates for dial-up access to the internet, at least in the off-peak hours,” Trai said notifying the 25th Amendment to the Telecom Tariff Order, 1999.

Cellular base

The country’s cellular subscriber base rose to 117.56 lakh in February 2003, reflecting an increase of 5.31 per cent over the previous month, although the monthly additions this time were significantly lower than that witnessed in the last three months, adds PTI.

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