TRAI targets 2 Mbps minimum broadband speed

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New Delhi, Jan 1: Countries like France and Singapore, broadband is defined as a minimum speed of 512 kbps. In the US, however, the speed is limited to 200 kbps, in Hungary to 256 kbps, while in China all internet users other than dial-up and wireless are considered broadband users.

At present, the broadband subscriber base in the India stands at a meagre 2.67 million, compared with the government"s target of 9 million subscribers by the end of the calendar year 2007, reports sources.

For consumers, a rise in the speed definition for broadband means two things. On the positive side it means many services like high definition movies, tele-medicine and video streaming would all be possible since these services require speeds as high as 4 to 6 mbps. But on the flip side it will mean that consumers, at least for the time being, have to shell out much more for higher speeds.

For subscribers who wonder why their high-speed “broadband" connection of 256 kilo bites per second (kbps) is not fast enough to play video games or download movie clips quickly, here is some good news.

Responding to complaints from harassed consumers who are offered “broadband" at speeds much slower than those stipulated by the government, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has taken a tough call.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is considering to raise the minimum speed for a broadband connection to 2 Mbps from the present 256 Kbps, always-on access. It is believed that increasing of the minimum speed for broadband will help in increasing the broadband penetration in the country.

TRAI is also taking efforts to ensure a minimum 256 Kbps speed for broadband connections. The service providers are using words like 'up to" to define broadband speed without indicating minimum committed speed. In certain cases packages of internet speed less than 256 Kbps have also been marketed as broadband connections, TRAI has said.

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