Few weeks ago Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had ruled in favor of Net Neutrality
and asked telecom operators of India to deliver broadband services in a transparent manner. They at that time had also directed the ‘stakeholders’ for their response and comments on the move.
Telecom operator Airtel had then replied to TRAI requesting them to revamp on few broadband rules that will change the high speed internet as we know it.
Airtel had asked the telecom regulator to change a clause that restricts them to keep the broadband speed at a minimum of 512 Kbps. The company has requested TRAI to bring it down to 64 Kbps once the user reaches the broadband quota.
The request, which was in Clause 4 (c) of the changes suggested by Airtel read:
“In case of fair usage plans, the subscriber remains a broadband subscriber till the expiry of his assigned quota. Beyond the assigned quota, it cannot be the prerogative of the customer to keep on accessing data at the defined broadband speed. Hence, a service provider should be free to throttle the speed to 64kbps after the expiry of assigned data limit to the customer.”
Airtel had then accused customers of misusing the minimum broadband speed provisions and added:
“In fact, it has been observed that some customers misuse the minimum broadband speed provision and tend to overuse the data limit in their quota. Thus the cost increases for all customers due to higher usage at 512 kbps. As a result, we are forced to keep the price at a higher threshold for every customer. Therefore, if broadband has to become affordable in the country, ideally, the Authority should not mandate any broadband speed after exhaustion of quota. However, if the Authority wants to fix a speed limit is after the expiry of quota, it may be fixed at 64kbps.”
Airtel, which has for many months been marketing their 4G networks and advertising plans that offer “unlimited” data, now seems to be in contradiction to what they are advertising and instead accuse many of their customers of misusing this facility. In the current age when the world is connecting to 4G and even 5G internet speed, Airtel’s proposition to reduce the minimum to 64 kbps could spell disaster for many, especially looking at how the current government is trying to ‘Digitalise India.’
The reason for this is that 64kbs is too slow on the modern web and will take over 2 minutes just to open a small 1 MB image.
Even a 512 kbps speed is too slow for modern web as it roughly translates into 64 Kilobytes of data a second, which means it will take that same 1 MB image to load in 16 seconds.
At a time when HD videos have become a common a person cannot even imagine accessing it at 64kbps speed.
Taking immediate call on this a petition started doing round on Tuesday February 16, requesting TRAI to not give into Airtel’s absurd request.
The petition deadline is February 17, 2016 and the person has to draft a mail to email@example.com before 11:59pm.
To access the draft of the letter click here