Trai aims to make Web affordable

Calls for lesser import duty on Wi-Fi wares

Trai aims to make Web affordable

Aimed at making Internet services affordable in the country, the Telecom Regulatory of Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday suggested the government to reduce the import duty on Wi-Fi equipment and set up public data offices.

In its recommendation on ‘Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Networks’, the regulator suggested that “the import duty applicable upon Wi-Fi access point equipment be revisited in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce. This will reduce cost of providing Wi-Fi service in the country leading to proliferation of broadband services”.

“A new framework should be put in place for setting up of Public Data Offices (PDOs). Under this framework, the PDOs in agreement with Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs), should be allowed to provide public Wi-Fi services. This will not only increase number of public hotspots but also make Internet service more affordable in the country,” said the recommendation.

“The PDOAs may be allowed to provide public Wi-Fi services without obtaining any specific license for the purpose. However, they would be subject to specific registration requirements as prescribed by the Department of Telecom. This will encourage village-level entrepreneurship and provide strong employment opportunities especially in rural areas,” said the regulator. 

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