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Oct 24, 2017 11:32 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Govt plans four-fold increase in minimum internet speed in country to 2 mbps

The government has started working towards boosting of minimum-mandated internet speed to 2 mbps and more from the existing 512 kbps.

Govt plans four-fold increase in minimum internet speed in country to 2 mbps

The government has started working towards boosting the minimum-mandated internet speed in the country to 2 mbps and more from the existing 512 kbps, reports the Economic Times.

India tops a list of 23 major internet-using countries as the nation where most people denied having a life without the world wide web. The government's move is in line with its digital India vision that includes initiatives such as smart cities, digital India programmes, digital payments, and 5G services.

According to the report, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan affirmed the government was aware of slow internet speed experienced by internet users in many parts of the country.

"We are very slow. While we have done a lot on (providing internet) access, we have not been able to actually deliver the quality of service that is required," Sundararajan told the paper.

While India is preparing to roll out 5G services and applications focusing on internet-of-things (IoT) — the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects to exchange data — internet speeds in 3G and 4G services are nowhere close to the numbers promised.

Also Read: Is 5G already here? Qualcomm tests internet speeds of 1 Gbps

Earlier, Telecom regulator TRAI had pointed out the weaker internet speed in its 'Consultation Paper on Data Speed Under Wireless Broadband Plans' released in June this year.

"... it was noticed that the advertised speed differed substantially from the actual... Data speeds quoted by mobile network operators often appear to be at variance with those experienced by users. For instance, crowd-sourced data from Trai's mySpeed portal shows that quite a few 3G subscribers throughout the country receive a download speed of less than 1 Mbps. Moreover, these 'below 1 Mbps' speed can go as low as 10 Kbp for some 3G subscribers," said the report.

On the minimum-internet speed limit of 2 mbps, Sundararajan said, "2 mbps is the basic minimum. We should definitely mandate this. If at all, it should be higher than that. It cannot be lower than that."

TRAI has also been pushing for the increase in the minimum-internet speed as several telecom companies are rolling out faster 4G services.

Even though the use of 4G gained pace after the launch of services by Reliance Industries-owned Jio in September last year, other telecom companies have been averse to the idea of having higher internet speed for various reasons, said the report.

"Their main concerns in this regard were limited availability of spectrum per operator in 2G/3G bands; low coverage zones such as basements, high rise buildings, tunnels; and variations due to external factors such as subscriber's device quality and type, number of subscribers browsing the data services, peak/off-peak time, transmission bandwidth, website behaviour etc.," Trai said.

Weak investment in boosting mobile network infrastructure is also quoted as some of the concerns by the older companies.
 Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.
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