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Summary: TRAI recommendations for broadband speed and connectivity

The regulator laid out several ways for the government to improve internet speeds and telecom infrastructure.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on August 30 recommended to the Indian government that the definition of broadband should be set to 2Mbps, an increase by a factor of four from the current definition of 512Kbps. Additionally, it recommended three separate classes of fixed-line broadband definitions (in India, 4G mobile connections are also defined as broadband): Basic Broadband – between 2–50Mbps. Fast Broadband – Between 50–300Mbps. Super-fast Broadband – Over 300Mbps. The recommendations hand the government yet another roadmap on how to roll out broadband connections more rapidly in more parts of the country. The first such plan by TRAI was made in 2015, in a consultation process titled "Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?". The government's plans on rolling out broadband have paled in front of Jio's rapid rollout of its cheaper wireless network from 2016 onwards, with projects like BharatNet and public WiFi hotspots lagging behind. While the impact of the current recommendations remains to be seen, they serve as an important reminder of the work to be done to improve broadband access in India. Summary of Recommendations The telecom regulator made the following recommendations, aside from the broadband speed redefinition: Revenue definition: To reduce AGR due stress in the industry, TRAI reiterated an earlier recommendation that non-telecom activities should be exempted from the definition of Applicable Gross Revenue, to encourage telecom operators and ISPs to spend more on their networks. Passive and active infrastructure sharing should be allowed, TRAI recommended. Enhancing speed: To enhance the speed of internet…

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