cogito ergo vagus

October 4, 2007

India’s broadband woes – is TRAI the culprit?

Filed under: broadband,rants — vagus @ 7:59 am

There was an e-mail posted to a mailing list I’m subscribed to which asked for server co-location options in India. The poster mentioned a Reliance executive claimed that TRAI (India’s telecom regulatory authority) was controlling the minimum sale price of bandwidth!

I haven’t been able to locate any sources (TRAI website, PDFs etc.) to confirm whether or not this is true, but if it is then it’s a shame, and a shock to me, that TRAI is the cause of India’s currently poor broadband situation.

The poster mentioned the Reliance executive also stated that they would have done for the broadband market what they and other telecom companies have done for the mobile telephony market, which is vibrant competition and dirt cheap prices.

On the other hand, I have the impression (not from personal experience, but from others’) that you simply cannot rely on Reliance, so the executive’s claim may not be true.

Another person on the mailing list, in reply to my follow-up questions, suggested that even though TRAI may not be explicitly controlling minimum pricing, their narrow-minded licensing policies, which has entry fees and a percentage of revenues as license fees among other things, serve as a barrier for providers reducing bandwidth prices and spurring the growth and adoption of broadband in India to be on par with international levels.

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