Communication should not be monopolized: Government Finally addresses the network issues

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Communication should not be monopolized: Government Finally addresses the network issues
Communication should not be monopolized: Government Finally addresses the network issues

Highlights

  • According to top telecom panel, a telecom or internet service provider cannot be stroked with an exclusive deal by the RAWs, and they need to allow the use of infrastructure to all players
  • The new rules will be applicable to old as well as new residential colonies in India

NEW DELHI: The issue of poor mobile connectivity and slow internet connections in residential areas and public places are finally addressed by the government.

Residential Welfare associations will not be able to strike exclusive deals with any particular telecom operator or an internet service provider, concerning about the consumers RWAs will need to allow sharing and passage of communication infrastructure with every telecom providers for more choice and better quality of services, said by the government’s top telecom panel on Thursday.

The inter-ministerial Digital Communications Commission declared that public places like airports, railway stations, bus terminals, and government buildings should not be monopolized for telecom infrastructure with a single network provider, and the need ought to be shared with others.

The telecom secretary and also the chairman of the DCC Anshu Prakash said that the in-building infrastructure which is already laid can be shared by encouraging the telecom service providers in public places. An optic fiber cable placed by any telecom service provider can be shared with others. This certainly needs encouragement… forgetting your own commercial arrangements. 

RWAs often allow operators of their choice which burdens any new entry. The current practice by the RWAs is restricting the choice for the residents to get access to various service providers specially while having deficient services.

Concerning the constant deterioration of the quality of consumer telecom service, the DCC decided that the coverage of services should be enhanced while at the same time giving more options to the consumers. Lots of demand has been received for this, even it is also recommended by TRAI. There have been questions from the residents regarding the obligation for consuming the internet from a particular operator.

We will request the ministry of housing and urban affairs for promoting suitable guidelines to RWAs in this regard, provision for accessing all telecom service providers in a fair, transparent manner without provoking discrimination, the chairman of DCC said.

According to Prakash, in spite of the initiatives from the DCC in this matter, the guidelines for mandating it should be stated by the housing and urban affairs ministry. You cannot get a completion certificate for a building that you have, without electricity, water or proper sanitation. Likewise, communication is a basic need at present. Thus it is certainly relevant to have a proper ducting for the internet or other communication services.

The new rules once mandated will be applied to both the existing as well as the under-construction residential colonies. There can be some existing contracts for older buildings. So the transition needs to be happening over a period of time. It can’t happen with just a simple click.

The chairman of DCC also added, in order to implement the decision, changes and amendments should be made to the unified building bylaws. According to him, the residents should be given ‘choice and flexibility’, to choose an operator as they like for realizing the best quality of service and also the tariffs.        

The chairman said the decision should be taken by the ministry of housing and urban affairs while answering the question, whether the DCC recommends a penalty for the unwilling persons who refuse the new rules.

The concern over the fall in quality and coverage of telecom services across the country are often expressed by the government, and also addressed as a pressing issue by the Indian Prime Minister himself. Improvement of consumer service is the prime concern for his ministry, said Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after taking charge of the new government.

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