Need ‘broadband labelling’ to safeguard consumer interest: TRAI

UNI, April 07, 2017

Regulator Trai today expressed concern over the quality of broadband service in India and stressed the need to have ‘broadband labeling’ that will help consumers make an informed choice in picking a service provider.

“Quality of broadband services in India remains a huge concern. Broadband infrastructure growth is as low as 1.5 percent, with no further growth in wired connectivity… However, wireless connectivity has experienced stupendous growth of almost 90 percent in recent times,” TRAI chairman R S Sharma said.

He was speaking at a conference organised by CUTS International.

“…with consumers having less choices and complex grievance redressal mechanisms, the idea of having a broadband label is significant, path-breaking and will help consumers in making an informed choice. Internet service providers must disclose a minimum average speed for consumers,” Sharma said.

With other parts of the world already implementing such ‘labels’, the time is right for India to also consider such a mechanism, he added.

CUTS International said that such a label should provide complete information disclosure by the broadband providers on Quality of Service, in a standard format, to consumers.

“This may result in safeguarding consumers from misleading advertisements, unfair contractual terms, practice of non-disclosures and most importantly, help them choose between services,” CUTS International said in a statement.

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