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Broadband definition of minimum download speed raised to 2 Mbps
The government has revised the definition of broadband connectivity, specifying a higher minimum download speed of 2 Mbps (megabits per second), according to a gazette notification.
Earlier, the definition notified by the Telecom Department in July 2013 had benchmarked it to 512 kbps (kilobits per second) as the minimum download speed.
“In supersession of the definition of broadband issued vide notification dated July 18, 2013, and after consideration of the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Central Government hereby revise the definition of broadband as follows…,” the notification said.
The recent gazette notification went on to say that “Broadband is a data connection that is able to support interactive services, including internet access, and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service.” The notification dated January 25, 2023, has come into force with immediate effect.
As of November 30, 2022, India had about 825.4 million broadband subscribers, of which 793.5 million were wireless broadband users, and the rest were wireline.
As per data released recently by the sector regulator, the top five service providers constituted 98.4 percent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of November 2022.
These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (430.18 million), Bharti Airtel (230.56 million), Vodafone Idea (123.48 million), BSNL (25.85 million), and Atria Convergence (2.14 million).
When contacted, Broadband India Forum President, TV Ramachandran said that the latest move of revising the definition augurs well for broadband consumers, especially those in rural and semi-urban areas.
“The broadband penetration has a long way to go when seen in the context of our overall population. The move to raise the definition to a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps is a step in the right direction for consumers,” Ramachandran said. PTI
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