And connectivity needs political and administrative convergence. This new year brings with it uncertainties amidst the push for cashlessness. Without going into the demerits or otherwise, some clarity on a road map to go forward from where we are might help with realistic planning to manage our way out of this situation.
CIS Submission to TRAI Consultation Note on Model for Nation-wide Interoperable and Scalable Public Wi-Fi Networks
This submission presents responses by the CIS on the Consultation Note on Model for Nation-wide Interoperable and Scalable Public Wi-Fi Networks published by the TRAI on November 15, 2016. Our analysis of the solution proposed in the Note, in brief, is that there is no need of a solution for non-existing interoperability problem for authentication and payment services for accessing public Wi-Fi networks. The proposed solution in this Note only adds to over-regulation in this sector, and does not incentivise new investment in the sector, but only establishes UIDAI and NPCI as the monopoly service providers for authentication and payment services.
If delivery is priced below cost, communications services will be unsustainable and ineffective. The stress in the telecom sector is evident from the data. The market capitalisation of listed telecom operators has been stagnant since the 3G auction in 2010, while the government collected Rs 2.83 lakh crore of non-tax charges from them.
Appropriate policies will increase connectivity much more than spectrum auctions.
The Centre for Internet and Society (“CIS”) is grateful for the opportunity to comment on this Consultation Paper (“Paper”). The comments were prepared by Sunil Abraham, Sharath Chandra Ram, Vidushi Marda, and Thejaswi Melarkode. Special thanks to Shyam Ponappa and Arjun Venkatraman for their inputs and feedback.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) held a consultation on Free Data, for which CIS sent in the following comments.
Today, Airtel launched its Open Network platform. The web page displays visualization data on network coverage and signal strength across the country, as well as a detailed breakdown of cell tower placement, including towers that are shutdown or still being planned.
It's time the government accepts that current policies are not enough to bring about Digital India.
The Centre for Internet and Society sent this submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) following the Open House Discussion on Differential Pricing of Data Services, held in Delhi on February 21, 2016.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it - George Santayana. Reprise good decisions, and avoid the missteps.
Apply electronic toll collection systems to roads, and adapt road network concepts in organizing and managing communications networks.
It has been less than two months since the nationwide launch of the Free Basics app in India. The smart phone application (formerly known as Internet.org) offers free access to Facebook, Facebook-owned products like WhatsApp, and a select suite of other websites for users who do not pay for mobile data plans.
The argument against net neutrality in India is simple. Regulation cannot be based on dogma – evidence of harm must be provided before you can advocate for rules for ISPs and telecom operators.
In the ongoing debate about zero-rated plans and net neutrality, this blog post aims to study the possible effects of a survey conducted in Bangalore to gauge users' reactions towards such plans, and specifically "limited packs" offered by major telecom companies.
Large blocks of underused spectrum lie tantalizingly out of reach, waiting for enabling regulation, administration, and to some extent technology, to accelerate our move towards Digital India.
There's a buzz about Digital India again with an Indian PM finally reaching Silicon Valley. So are we close to broadband taking off, or is this just more hype?
On behalf of the Centre for Internet and Society, I must commend the Department of Telecom Panel on its report. Overall, it displays a far better understanding of the underlying issues than the TRAI consultation paper did, and is overall a good effort at balancing the different sides. However, some of its most important recommendations are completely off-mark and would be disastrous if accepted by the government.
A basic problem is that the cost of spectrum and licences relative to earnings is too high, structurally.
And what could be done to fix them...Why do we have so many dropped calls on our mobile phones? Operators say it's because of the closure and shortage of cell towers, and too little spectrum.
The National Optic Fibre Network, a part of the Government's Digital India Initiative, has been in the news since the recent Expert Committee Report. In this Blog, the author examines the Accountability of the funding of the project.