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Telcos asked to share infra

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DoT advisory aims to boost connectivity in public places

In a move that is likely to lead to better telecom connectivity for consumers, the government has advised all service providers to share their in-building infrastructure with their peers in all public buildings, including government offices, airports, railway stations and hospitals.

“All the telecom service providers(TSPs) are advised to share the in-building infrastructure (IBS, OFC and other cables, ducts, etc.) with other TSPs, in all the existing government/public buildings, places like airports, railway stations, bus terminals, metro stations/lines, hospitals etc., as per the terms and conditions of their respective licenses,” the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said in an advisory.

In order to provide a better network for voice calls as well as high speed broadband inside buildings, TSPs need to install in-building solutions (IBS) as well as lay cables including copper, optical fibre and LAN cables. For this, they may require permission from the owner of the building. However, in many cases, building owners enter into an exclusive agreement with one of the TSPs, and deny access to others.

“Such practices not only limit competition, it also leaves no choice to consumers except to avail services from the TSP with whom the contract is done; taking away choice and flexibility from the consumers which they would have had in terms of quality of service (QoS), tariff, redundancy etc.,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) observed in its recommendations in March 2017.

The industry regulator had recommended that TSPs be mandated to share the in-building infrastructure with others in large public places, commercial complexes and residential complexes in a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner.

The regulator had also argued that due to factors such as space constraints and costs involved, it may not always be feasible for all telecom service providers to install in-building telecom infrastructure in a given building. In addition, execution of the work inside an existing building at different points of time by each TSP, was likely to cause inconvenience to occupants, TRAI had noted.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:19:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/telcos-asked-to-share-infra/article30019681.ece

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