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Jio objects to TRAI proposal to give fixed line broadband license fee concessions as DBT

"We are surprised at the need of reviewing a 6-year old recommendation by the Authority, especially when all the conditions precedent and justifications for the recommendation remain equally valid and relevant," Reliance Jio said in its response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's supplementary consultation paper on enhancing access to broadband. "A rethink on the issue, at this stage, with an entirely new perspective of evaluating the possibility of misappropriation by Access Service Providers and exploring the possibility of passing the benefits through a Direct Benefit Scheme (DBT), can have no other effect than delaying the implementation of much needed incentives to revitalize the FLB [fixed line broadband] sector." The supplementary consultation was announced on May 19 after the Department of Telecommunications raised concerns that if fixed-line broadband players were given license fee exemptions as an incentive to proliferate broadband, there would be "misuse by the licensees," whence the suggestion that customers be given subsidies for broadband connections like in the case of LPG. "This paper raises altogether new and important policy issues in the areas of extending financial incentives to TSPs, its suitability and robustness of monitoring, and exploring the possibilities of leveraging DBT in proliferating FLB. Since most of these issues are being put up for deliberations for the first time, this consultation paper (CP) should not be treated as a supplementary CP but as a pre-CP to comprehensively deal with the issue," Jio said in its response (emphasis theirs). 'No incentives for fixed line broadband' Uneconomical…

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