The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recently issued a notification on Proliferation of Broadband through Wi-Fi Networks. TRAI believes that implementation of the recommendations will beget a new set of small players in the Wi-Fi field, and will contribute in a big way in making broadband available to the masses.
In line with the unified license, the department of telecommunications may amend the terms of the ISP license to allow for sharing of active infrastructure. TRAI has recommended that a clarification be provided in respect of all license categories that sharing of infrastructure be related to Wi-Fi equipment, such as Wi-Fi router, access point, and backhaul also allowed.
Some major recommendations are:
- lImport duty applicable upon Wi-Fi access point equipment to be revisited in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce. It will bring down cost of the service.
- lA new framework should be put in place for setting up of public data offices (PDOs). Under this framework, PDOs in agreement with public data office aggregators (PDOAs) should be allowed to provide public Wi-Fi services for making Internet affordable, which will also increase the number of public hotspots.
- lAuthentication through eKYC, eCAF, and other electronic modes to be allowed for the purposes of KYC obligations cast upon PDOAs.
- lPDOAs be allowed to enter into agreements with the third-party application/service providers for the purpose of managing authentication and payment processes.
- lPDOAs may be allowed to provide public Wi-Fi services without obtaining any specific license for the purpose. However, they would be subjected to specific registration requirements prescribed by the DoT.