The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trai dials 10-point agenda to boost internet growth

New Delhi, Sept. 9: Concerned about the insufficient growth of internet services in the country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today asked policy makers to treat services provided by internet service providers on a par par with telecom infrastructure and to set up an internet exchange in the country.

The telecom regulator today presented a 10-point agenda to the government to bring about a surge in internet business in the country. Currently, countries like China and Taiwan are far ahead of India in this field.

The regulator said that it is necessary to establish Internet Exchange Points (IXP) in the country to be named “National Internet Exchange of India” to route the domestic traffic within the country to avoid its carriage abroad and back to India.

It has proposed that initially four internet exchange nodes be set up in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

A senior Trai official said, “The cost of internet connections and bandwidth would be reduced by more than half and quality of service would improve resulting in the spread of internet use and increase in customer satisfaction.”

Setting up of NIXI will result in better internet infrastructure in the country and saving of foreign exchange on international bandwidth. This in turn will result in increased internet penetration and overall development of e-commerce and economy.

The regulator has also emphasised the need to enhance availability of cheaper access devices and low cost indigenous PCs.

A senior Trai official said, “Policy initiatives should be taken for bringing ISP services under infrastructure category, to bring down capital and operational costs of ISPs.”

Trai has also suggested de-licensing of 2.4 GHz (ISM Band) for low power outdoor usage for last mile internet access as well as permitting the usage of receive-only-satellite access by ISPs with simple registration process.

The regulator has asked the government to develop local language portals, web sites and to implement e-governance applications providing citizen services through internet to encourage its wider usage.

Trai has also suggested offering direct access to the international submarine cable system for ISPs and co-location of ISP node at basic service operator’s premises. It also emphasised the need to reduce the dialup access charges and internet leased line charges.

The report, submitted to the government by Trai today, was based on an in-house study by the regulator of the various barriers impeding the growth of internet and main drivers of the growth of internet in the country.

Trai constituted a multi-disciplinary task force to suggest the steps needed to trigger a faster growth of the internet in the country.

The task force comprised eminent experts from various agencies like the ministry of communication and information technology, Centre for Development of Telematics, Telecom Engineering Centre, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and Trai itself to address this issue.

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