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What COAI, Jio, Airtel have said about TRAI’s WiFi consultation paper

In a submission (pdf) to TRAI’s consultation on ‘Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi networks’, telecom lobby association COAI has contended that Internet services in the country, delivered via WiFi, Cellular networks or any wired technology, can be provided  “only by licensed TSPs/ISPs who have their own network to extend the last mile access”. In July TRAI suggested in a consultation that “there could be small entrepreneurs or even a very small entity (such as small stores) which would like to participate in common and shared WiFi network for larger public use.  However COAI said that the notion of using “public Wi-Fi networks for providing ubiquitous citywide coverage is incorrect,” since cellular networks owned and operated by telcos are the only mediums that can be used to expand broadband on a citywide or circle-wise basis.   How COAI reasons that WiFi should be deployed by telcos only To support these comments, COAI indicates how Wi-Fi as a technology has evolved over the years stating that WiFi was originally developed to facilitate users to connect their devices via a wireless medium rather than the legacy wired medium. “Overtime Wi-Fi was also used for accessing Internet as well,” and to an extent WiFi technology can be used to create smaller hotspots for non-commercial use within people’s houses, hotels or companies after buying broadband from telcos, adds the lobby body “Thus,  only  Licensed  TSPs/ISPs  having  their  own  networks  to  enable  access  up  to  the last mile are allowed to provide Internet Access in…

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