The number of points of interconnection (POI) for fixed line services, which should exist in a local service should be left to the telecom service providers as it provides them flexibility in designing a public switched telephone network, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has said.
In its recommendations on telecommunication interconnection between PSTN and national long distance (NLD) carriers, Trai has said in order to encourage more fixed line services, the telecom services providers should be free to decide the interconnection rates and carriage charges.
“While amending the regulations to facilitate expansion of existing telecom service provider networks into new territories and entry of new service providers in the market, it is also necessary to protect the investments gone into establishing the existing points of interconnection,” Trai said, adding such points should be continued for a minimum period of five years.
As of January 31, fixed line market segment was a mere 1.75 per cent of the telecom market in India, and has been slowing over the last decade. The growth of wireless mobile telephony has eaten into this market, with the number of fixed line subscriber based down to just 20.5 crore as of January 2020. “Keeping in view the fact that, presently, the tele-density of fixed line subscriptions is abysmally low in the country, the NDCP-2018 (national digital communications policy) provides special emphasis on promoting the fixed line communication networks. It has set a goal of enabling fixed line broadband access to 50 per cent of households in India by 2022,” Trai said.
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