Telecom regulator TRAI is in talks with the states over laying of common optical fibre infrastructure and would release its recommendations soon to improve high-speed broadband connectivity in the country, its chairman R S Sharma said on Thursday. The regulator is advocating a common duct infrastructure which could be used by any operator who wants to lay optical fibre network. Speaking at the Broader Way Forum India, Sharma said digging of roads to lay optical fibre should be done once and all operators should be able to utilise a common duct for laying cables.
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“We are saying that a common duct infrastructure be made by an third party and that should be done in a transparent. Any operator who want to lay fibre should be able to use that duct. We will be giving our recommendation very soon. We are having some discussion with states,” Sharma said. He said country needs model aligned to incentive where interest of users, operators and government is aligned. For faster rollout of wireline networks, the Department of Telecom recently notified Right of Policy to facilitate common rule across country.
On the occasion, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said that there is need for enhancing penetration of wireline connection in the country for providing high speed broadband. “Broadband speed in India are lowest in the world. South Korea on the other hand has an average speed of 29 mbps. Presently wireline connectivity a fraction of wireless connectivity in our country. In order to explore the true potential of broadband, it is important to look at improving the wireline connection in India,” Sinha said.
He said that government itself is aggressively rolling out BharatNet project by laying optical fibre network for providing high speed broadband service.”Industry has huge role to play in this transformation. Telecom service provider and other internet service provider are rolling out fibre in their respective market,” Sinha said. Huawei India CEO Jay Chen asked the government to release spectrum in E and V bands as they will act like optical fibre in air and resolve high speed connectivity issue to some extent.
Telecom operators have sought the opening up of new frequency bands — 71-76 gigahertz (GHz) and 50 GHz. Wireless services deployed in these bands are believed to deliver broadband speed of up to 1 gigabyte per second as in the case of optical fibre. Opening up of backhaul spectrum is expected to reduce cost and time of deploying networks and also resolve the tedious process of seeking permit from local authorities of laying out optical fibre network.
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