TRAI suggests government to pay for half of your broadband bill, increases minimum broadband speed to 2 Mbps

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TRAI suggests government to pay for half of your broadband bill, increases minimum broadband speed to 2 Mbps
The minimum broadband speed in India was 512 Kbps earlierPixabay
  • India’s telecom regulator, TRAI, has outlined multiple ways to increase broadband usage and coverage across the country.
  • TRAI has also increased the minimum broadband speed four-fold to 2 Mbps from 512 Kbps as more people work and study from home.
  • It has also recommended the government to consider paying broadband subscribers in rural areas to subscribe to fixed-line broadband services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the government to look into the possibility of paying users to subscribe to broadband services, while increasing the minimum broadband speeds in the country to 2 Mbps.

The minimum broadband speeds in India have been increased by four times to 2 Mbps from 512 Kbps TRAI, as the post-pandemic scenario pushes more professionals to work from home and students to attend classes online.

Direct benefit transfer to encourage adoption of broadband in rural areas



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Apart from offering incentives to broadband providers, TRAI has recommended the government to consider using the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme to encourage users in rural areas to subscribe to new broadband connections.

The suggested plan states that the government should consider reimbursing 50% of the monthly broadband fee, subject to a maximum of ₹200 per month per subscriber. Given that this will be in the form of DBT, users will get the reimbursement directly in their linked bank accounts.

Minimum broadband speed increased four-fold



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According to the telecom regulator’s press release, broadband services in India are classified into three categories – Basic, Fast and Super Fast. Speeds in the ‘Basic’ connection range between 2 Mbps to 50 Mbps. A ‘Fast’ connection ranges between 50 Mbps to 300 Mbps, while a ‘Super Fast’ connection is anything above 300 Mbps speed.

Until now, the minimum broadband speed was 512 Kbps, an upgrade from the 256 Kbps and 56 Kbps years ago.

Incentivising broadband providers to boost internet speeds



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TRAI is also offering incentives to broadband providers to offer the new minimum speed of 2 Mbps. This will be in the form of an exemption from licence fees. At present, broadband providers are charged 8% on their revenue in the form of a licence fee.

“Initially, the proposed incentive, i.e., licence fee exemption to the eligible licensees should be allowed for a minimum period of five years. The need for incentives beyond the initial five years may be reviewed in the fifth year keeping in view the policy priorities and technological developments at that point of time,” the regulator said in a statement.

To boost broadband adoption universally, TRAI states that licensees (broadband providers) will have to meet subscriber increase targets in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

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