Problems in Broadband Delivery and steps to counter them

Problems in Broadband Delivery and steps to counter them

Question - TRAI recently issued its recommendations on “Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?” Discuss the problems involving delivery of broadband services in India and steps taken to counter it.

Problems in Broadband Delivery

• Right of Way charges are topmost obstacle to adopting of wireline technology for access networks

• Lack of availability of adequate quantum of internationally harmonised spectrum is the largest problem in deployment of wireless technology in access network

• Non availability of adequate bandwidth in backhaul is another reason for poor quality of broadband

• Stringent punishment has been imposed on construction of towers, by civic authorities

• Procurement of satellite capacity on international satellites through Department of Space causes long delays, price increases via process flaws

• BBNL which is implementing the NOFN project is hindered by red taoism

• At the delivery and implementation stage in BBNL, responsibilities are diffused with many
executing and supervising agencies

• There is also a disconnect between BBNL and stakeholders including private operators for provision of broadband to customers

Steps to Improve Broadband Services in India

• Institutional revamping is the first step; WPC should be converted into an independent body delinked from DoT to attain efficiency, transparency and complete disclosure

• Removal of multi-layered structure of NOFN

• Alignment of spectrum band with internationally harmonised bands

• Assignment of additional spectrum for commercial telecom services
• Clear roadmap for spectrum management

• Independent agency for auditing allocated spectrum

• Single window clearance for right of way/ROW proposals for states and central government

• National ROW policy must be in place to ensure uniformity in costs and processes

• Project implementation should be through centre-state PPP involving state governments and private sector

• Award of turnkey contracts by BBNL to private sector companies

• Single window, time bound clearance for tower installation

• Considerable customer awareness and educational programmes for customers to understand impact of tower radiation on health

• License fee on revenues earned from fixed line BB should be exempt for 5 years

• Infrastructure of PSUs should be utilised

• Cable operators should be given leave to function as resellers of ISP license holders to enable taking advantage of cable network to provide BB

• Digitisation of cable services to tier 2 and 3 cities should be carried out in time bound manner

• There should be separation of licensor, regulatory and operator in satellite space domain

• Additional spectrum in 2500-2690 MHz band with DoS needs to be urgently addressed

• Data centre parks like SEZs must be constructed by local and foreign companies

• Centre as well as states should be model users in delivery of e-government services

• Early initiation should be done for broadband services at school itself to encourage user comfort

• High cost of CPE like tablets, laptops and desktops are main barriers to BB services; this should be eliminated

Facts and Stats

• India is 125th in the world for BB/broadband penetration

• Only 1.2 per 100 inhabitants have access to fixed BB as against global average of 9.4% per 100 persons

• As far as household penetration within developing countries is concerned, India is 75th with penetration of 13%

• India is 113th in wireless BB space with penetration of 3.2 per 100 inhabitants

• As far as ICT access, use and skills are concerned, India is 129th of 166 nations with Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bhutan and Kenya ranked above this nation

• India has also been categorised as the Least Connected Countries Group of 42 nations falling within low IDI group
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