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Trai repeals the 2001 regulation on internet access service quality

Asserts the regulation, targeted at BSNL, MTNL, & VSNL, is no longer pertinent

phone, internet, internet ban

Photo: Bloomberg

Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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In a move aimed at modernise its regulatory framework, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has abolished the 2001 regulation designed to uphold quality of service (QoS) standards for dial-up and leased-line internet access services.

Trai issued the ‘Trai Repealing Regulations, 2023’ on Thursday, withdrawing the previous regulation which it considers to be no longer relevant. It reasoned that current regulations contain sufficient provisions to ensure the seamless operation of fixed-line internet services.

The earlier regulation was established to set customer satisfaction standards in the then-burgeoning sector. It was applicable to all basic service providers and internet service providers, including state-run MTNL and BSNL and the now obsolete Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, which were utilising dial-up connections back in 2001.

In order to safeguard the interests of internet service subscribers, Trai defined QoS parameters that established network performance norms and monitored them.

Over time, telecom networks, encompassing both wireline and wireless, have evolved to provide high-speed broadband service on xDSL, FTT'H, LTE, and 5G technologies.

Trai noted that leased line access services are typically offered by Internet Gateway Service Providers (IGSPs) holding an ISP licence. These services are extended either to enterprises, to connect their Local Area Networks (LANs) to the internet via point-to-point leased lines, or to ISPs lacking their own international gateway facilities.

"Such a service constitutes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the service provider and the customer. The customers of this service, due to their dominant position established by the one-to-one agreement with service providers, can safeguard their interests with regard to service performance-related issues," it said.

Trai also acknowledged that service providers now also prioritise responding to customer complaints in order to prevent them from switching to competitors.

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First Published: Jul 27 2023 | 8:02 PM IST

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