Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a consultation paper on “Bandwidth required for ISPs for better connectivity and improved quality of service”.
The Authority has suo-motu initiated this consultation process to seek the views of the stakeholders in order to develop a framework which will strengthen the existing regulations on quality of broadband service.
A strong need is being felt to identify easily monitorable and enforceable QoS measures particularly in regard to access speed to ensure that a bare minimum (floor) bandwidth is available with service providers for provisioning of broadband and internet services with reasonable assured quality to its subscribers.
Increasing number of broadband subscribers and development of various applications demanding high-bandwidth such as IPTV and peer-to-peer file sharing have emphasized the need to ensure high quality broadband connections. The concept of virtual office, remote office is gaining popularity. E-Commerce, E- health, Video world, Virtual tours and E-marts are some other emerging popular applications requiring huge bandwidth which are time sensitive also. In such a scenario, Quality of service becomes of prime importance. It may be noted that number of Internet subscribers are 12.24 millions at the end of September 2008 and number of broadband subscribers are 5.28 at that end of November 2008.
Incidences have come to the notice of the Authority where subscribers allege speed of their Broadband connections is much less than subscribed speed. In order to monitor the quality of service of broadband services, TRAI issued the ‘Quality of Service of Broadband Service Regulations, 2006’ , which define various parameters like packet loss, latency in the network, peak bandwidth utilization etc. Monitoring of these parameters indicate the status of the congestion in the network. Service providers are expected to monitor their network and take corrective actions before the quality of service is impacted. It is generally seen that such corrective actions are not taken by service providers in time. This makes it difficult to ensure the consistent good quality of service to subscribers particularly in regard to access speed and considerable time is required to implement the corrective action.