TRAI bats for Neutral Wi-Fi Architecture to improve Digital Connectivity

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    The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the government that neutral Wi-Fi architecture be deployed to improve digital connectivity. In a consultation paper, TRAI said that the country has too few Wi-Fi hotspots and added neutral Wi-Fi infrastructure is the need of the hour.

    As per the data collected in 2014, France leads the world in terms of number of public Wi-Fi hotspots with 13 million and the United States comes in second at 9.8 million and UK third at 5.6 million. The situation is changing rapidly. And as per a recent study, there will be 340 million hotspots by 2018 on a global scale. But in India, it is just 35,000.

    Wi-Fi Everywhere You Want To Be:

    TRAI which is charged with ensuring the orderly growth of the telecom sector will soon recommend deploying neutral Wi-Fi infrastructure so that anyone irrespective of ISP can be able to latch on to any Wi-Fi hotspot, and use the network and pay accordingly. This will not only avoid duplication of infrastructure but also be a cheaper alternative for broadband connectivity to installing fibre.

    The TRAI Chairman, Mr. R.S. Sharma, said, “Digital India is a most transformative project of the current government with a vision to change India into a knowledge economy. The fundamental area on which Digital India rests is a ubiquitous broadband connectivity or broadband as a utility service.”

    Improve Broadband Connectivity:

    To recap, TRAI floated a consultation paper on the matter in July, with comments sought Broadband connectivity, a cornerstone of the government’s Digital India initiative, will depend on leveraging cable TV infrastructure, satellite bandwidth and executing BharatNet through the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) model.

    TRAI, the regulator of the telecommunications sector in India, has introduced important changes in telecommunications that benefited all consumers. Now, it has come up with a good recommendation to solve broadband connectivity problem protecting the interests of both telecom service providers and consumers.

    A Roadmap for Broadband Penetration:

    “It may be surprise to many but India ranks below Bhutan, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Sudan in terms of broadband penetration. We need to seriously think about it and such measures taken jointly would lead to a substantial improvement in broadband connectivity and bridge digital divide”, the TRAI chief said.

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