Comments could be sent till June 27 and counter comments by July 11.
The regulator aims to remove entry barriers for new players and at the same time reduce the cost of operations for existing companies while giving them more flexibility. As per regulator, a large number of points of interconnect (PoIs) are currently required by fixed-line operators to handle a fraction of the telephony traffic, resulting in inefficient utilisation of resources, a situation that needs to be corrected.
As per Paper, for the entry of a new fixed-line operator at an all-India level, as many as 2,645 POIs are required for just routing local calls, while for a new mobile operator, the number is fewer than 350.
It added: “This could act as a huge entry barrier for new fixed-line service providers,” it said, adding: “It appears to be resulting in inefficient utilisation of resources.”
TRAI added: “Simplification of the interconnection regime for fixed-line networks may help in growth of fixed-line broadband connections while protecting the interests of the service providers and consumers.”
TRAI asked two basic questions. One, at what level should the interconnection between competing landline networks be allowed through mutual agreements among operators. Two, if there’s no mutual understanding, what should be the mandatory level of interconnection that TRAI should fix.
TRAI said: “The overall approach of the regulations must be one that gives greater operational flexibility to operators.”