Dissatisfied TRAI Quality of Service Assessment amplifies need for Broadband Labels: CUTS

Dissatisfied TRAI Quality of Service Assessment amplifies need for Broadband Labels: CUTS

KNN, August 10, 2017

As many as 50 per cent telecom consumers are dissatisfied with data services, highlights a survey stressing on the need for broadband labels.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come out with a detailed consumer perception survey report conducted during February 2017 in the license service areas (LSAs) of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, covering all the telecom service providers. This report reveals that none of the service providers in the three service areas have achieved the benchmark for consumer satisfaction.

The level of satisfaction was around 50% of the TRAI benchmark, with the worst dissatisfaction in the two areas of Data Speed and network, signal and coverage. If the assessment of these prominent LSAs showcases such dismal feedback, consumer perception at national level would be no different.

While recent competition in the Indian telecom sector has pushed average data consumption up to 1 Gigabyte per month, there has been no improvement in QoS performance, leading to dissatisfied and confused consumers, as the survey report reveals. Hence, it is critical to implement a mandatory information disclosure mechanism that would help consumers to make an informed choice on broadband services.

“CUTS International, an evidence based think-tank working on consumers’ interest, has been pursuing this initiative for over 5 months now and intensely advocates that a simple and standard labelling format for broadband services as part of this information disclosure mechanism will benefit and empower consumers,” CUTS International said in a release.

CUTS and IIT-Delhi are working on the design and parameters of this standard (disclosure) format for broadband users, which will be handed over to TRAI for assessment and evaluation.

This design would enable a consumer to compare and choose between internet service providers, along with highlighting details on data prices, minimum average speed, monthly data allowance, broadband speed among other network performance metrics. The recent release of TRAI Consultation paper on Data Speeds under Wireless Broadband Plans, explores the merits of broadband labels as a measurement tool for consumers- CUTS-IITD joint study. ( https://goo.gl/nrIuIE ).

This further strengthens CUTS initiative to voice for an trustworthy information disclosure mechanism of broadband labels for consumer empowerment, the press release added.

It may be noted that TRAI had released a consultation paper on data speeds under wireless broadband plans in June 2017 that also explores the need of information disclosure for benefit of telecom consumers.

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